Tony Tulathimutte

B.S., M.S., Stanford University. Iowa Writers' Workshop. Author of Private Citizens, a novel, which New York Magazine called “the first great millennial novel.” He has written for The New York Times, VICE, WIRED, Playboy, The New Yorker, N+1, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and others. He has received a 2017 Whiting Award and an O. Henry Award and has appeared as a guest on Late Night With Seth Meyers. SLC, 2019–

Previous Courses

Fiction Craft: The Whole Thing From Start to Finish


The syllabus may change to fit students’ needs, so don’t read ahead.

This is an everything course. From muttering "I've been taking notes" at parties to humblebragging on Twitter, there are many distinct steps to writing books and stories—and we'll be walking you through each one from beginning to end. We'll talk about gathering material, close reading, creating good conditions for writing, drafting quickly, finding your way into characters, overcoming writer’s block, research, plot, getting and using feedback, and early and late revisions. To finish things off, we'll cover story submissions, pitches, freelancing, finding agents, working with editors, and publishing/promoting your work. There'll be lectures, discussions, useful and non-demeaning activities, and a bunch of readings. All readings will be provided.

Raymond Carver, One More Thing
Flannery O'Connor, Good Country People
Francine Prose, Close Reading
James Wood, How Fiction Works, excerpt
Philip Roth, The Conversion of the Jews
Alexandra Kleeman, Fairy Tale
Martin Amis, Bob Sneed Broke the Silence
Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine, chapter 1
Elizabeth Tallent, No One's a Mystery
Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs, Chapter Zero
Stephen Koch, Working and Reworking
Jenny Zhang, You Fell in the River and I Saved You! early draft (2011) and final published version (2017)
ZZ Packer, Brownies
Allan Gurganus, My Heart is a Snake Farm
Harry Mathews, Country Cooking From Central France
Carmen Maria Machado, Especially Heinous
Tom Wolfe, Stalking the Billion Footed Beast
Lincoln Michel, The Ultimate Guide To Getting Published In A Literary Magazine
Tony Tulathimutte, Publish or Perish
Vladimir Nabokov, Spring in Fialta and Signs and Symbols
Clarice Lispector, The Egg and the Chicken
Lydia Davis, A Mown Lawn
Bennett Sims, The Bookcase
Donald Barthelme, The School
Octavia Butler, Bloodchild
Amy Hempel, In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried
George Saunders, The Perfect Gerbil
Kristen Roupenian, Cat Person