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Last year, I took a course at university entitled Writing Apocalypse: Histories and Speculation. For this course, we had three main assignments in addition to the weekly writing tasks. The first two have already been posted on this site, both as originally submitted1, and a revised version2, taking into account marker feedback.

Our final assignment for this course (worth 45% of our overall grade) involved writing a 2,000 word creative writing piece, followed by a 500 word exegesis. The creative writing piece needed to be self-contained i.e. it had to be a complete story or creative non-fiction piece, not a snippet or extract from a larger piece. The exegesis was to reflect on how the course readings, lectures, and workshops influenced our piece and needed to include at least two direct references or quotations to material studied in the course. I received a grade of 83%.

As this was our final assignment, we were not given any feedback beyond a brief comment at the end. Therefore, there will not be a revised version published later on. This is it.

I submitted this story as a multi-chapter story, short though those chapters may be, so I have posted it here over several pages. Rest assured, none of these pages are long — remember, the story as a whole is only 2,000 words, and I’ve included any words in the images in this count.

A quick note: a friend of mine suggested that it may be a good idea to add dates to the emails to indicate the progression of time. I had intended to follow this advice, but in the end I decided that it just doesn’t work for this story. I feel that the content of the emails, when read as part of the larger piece, is sufficient to indicate that significant periods of time have passed. More importantly, I didn’t want to put a date on the ‘Shiner’. I want readers to be able to imagine for themselves how near or far this new pandemic occurs.

I would like to extend my thanks to both my lecturer and my marker. I won’t name you here, as I’m uncertain as to legal requirements regarding permission and so on, but I am eternally grateful for your feedback and advice. I feel that there has been a marked improvement in my writing due to your influence.

1 Sixty Seconds (Original) and Sentry (Original)
2 Sixty Seconds (Revised) and Sentry (Revised)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Categories: Fiction Friday

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