Say What: Reading Dialogue

Subject CWRI40012 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.


Admission to the postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, or fourth year honours in creative writing; or the Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing.



Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Not offered in 2016
Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Amanda Johnson


Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce students to advanced dialogic techniques in relation to a range of genres including short story, novel and script.

The exploration of the mechanics of dialogue will be cast against the historical evolution of modern and postmodern modes of dialogue so that students will also understand how dialogue has been shaped by genre and the socio-political and cultural contexts from which key genres have arisen. For assessment, students will develop practical work comprising a short script, a full-length short story or a series of ‘short’ short stories. They will also produce a comparative critique of modes of dialogue used by authors included in the subject reader. They will workshop their creative project, participate in improvisational exercises, and provide written and verbal editorial feedback to fellow students.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject should be able to demonstrate:

  • a range of dialogue skills and apprehension of dialogue writing conventions applicable to a range of professional creative writing genres;
  • an advanced ability to solve problems in the field of dialogue driven writing genres and apply new skills to their creative work;
  • an understanding of histories of written dialogue and how ‘dialogic work’ carries on a continual dialogue with other works of literature and other authors; and
  • not just a ‘wonderful ear for dialogue’ but a wonderful mind for dialogue.

Comparative critique of two writers working in the same genre, 1500 words 20% (due mid-semester); class paper equivalent to 500 words 10% (due during the semester); creative work of either short fiction or script 3000 words 70% (due in the examination period).

Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Recommended Texts:

P Morris (ed), The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, Voloshnikov, Edward Arnold, 1994.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have acquired a capacity for critical analysis through engagement and critique of a range of creative writing genres;
  • demonstrate advanced skills in peer workshopping and self-editing;
  • demonstrate a capacity to work consistently and independently at an advanced level on a self-devised project;
  • demonstrate a capacity to participate in a project requiring team-work and contributions to the progress of others; and
  • demonstrate advanced skills in peer workshopping and self-editing.
Related Course(s): Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Creative Writing
PD-ARTS Creative Writing

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