English Skills Course – Continuing Education


Course Description

The primary function of TYP English is to help students develop into effective writers and capable readers of a wide range of literary materials. This naturally involves considerable focus on the thinking process. Basic grammar is discussed and students undertake extensive practice in that area. The fundamentals of good essay writing are covered as well as more sophisticated aspects of argumentative writing and essay structure. Students are asked to read, discuss and write about a wide range of readings, primarily non-fiction. Finally, the course explores the basic study of fiction and poetry as it relates to the development of critical thinking and good writing skills.


  • The Mi’kmaq Anthology, Joe & Choyce, eds.
  • The Bare Essentials, Norton & Green
  • The Conscious Reader, Shrodes, Finestone, Shugrue & Belford
  • Fire on the Water, Clarke
  • Fit to Print, Buckley

For further information, please contact Leslie Choyce, English Instructor, by email, by telephone at (902) 494-3730, by fax at (902) 494-2135, or send e-mail to the TYP Director Patricia Doyle Bedwell

The Halifax-area Native Education Counsellor has an office at 1220 LeMarchant Street, ground floor, and can be reached at (902) 494-8863.

Linda-Lee King, the Black Student Advisor, is located in the Student Union Building, Room 100, phone (902) 494-6648.


Creative Writing: Fiction


Dalhousie University


This course is for students interested in writing fiction with an emphasis on the short story. It will include the study of literature as a basis for learning skills necessary for the craft. Some aspects of the course will involve theory but the primary focus will be on the process of writing – everything from the basics of
getting started to the process of publishing.

Students will be expected to participate fully in the course through reading, writing and discussion.. Grades will be based on major written work (50%), writing exercises, attendance and participation (50%)

The following topics will be covered in the course:

1. The Process of Writing – Raw Writing: journal writing, free writing, subject matter, first drafts
2. Inspiration/ Discipline: creative/professional aspects, study of successful writers’ work habits
3. The Short Story: history of the short story, traditional/experimental forms
4. Conflict and Crisis: dramatic elements, pacing, emotion
5. Story and Plot: moving from point A to B
6. Character Development: direct and indirect methods, credibility, appearance vs. action, dialogue
7. Elements of Style: definition of style, achieving a unique and suitable “voice”
8. Setting — Place and Time: re-creating the past or present, accuracy in detail, precision in imagined scenes
9. Point of View: narrators – reliable and otherwise, control
10. Poetics and Fiction: metaphor/simile, symbol, sound, pushing language to limits
11. Revision: an examination of the ongoing revision process
12. Publishing: writing for publication, the publishing industry, marketing the work

Prerequisites: English 1000 or another English course For admission, students must submit 10 typed double-spaced pages (hard copy) of any combination of fiction and/or creative prose writing. Drop the work off (by July 31) at the English Department in the McCain Bldg. or mail it to Lesley Choyce, English Dept., Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4P9. Include student ID #, email address and phone number. Students will be informed of approval for admission by email and then register online.

Class size is limited to 25 and registration will close when that limit is filled so it is best to apply early.

Lesley Choyce, BA, MA, MA, English Instructor. Lesley holds two masters degrees from Montclair State and City University of New York. He has taught at a dozen universities in the United States and in Canada and currently teaches in the English Department at Dalhousie as well as TYP. He is the author of 65 books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: