In this course, we’ll be exploring that favorite epithet of the fiction workshop, genre. Instead of looking down our noses at writers of genre fiction—from romance to mystery, from sci-fi to spy-fi—we’ll be exploring what such writers can teach us as students of the craft. How can generic conventions and tropes serve as helpful reference points, and perhaps even as sources of inspiration? How do “literary” writers like Jorge Luis Borges use the conventions of genres like the mystery to surprise and delight? As we explore genre’s unique capacity to instruct and inspire, we will complete weekly writing exercises in response to craft essays and short stories by the likes of A.S. Byatt, Edgar Alan Poe, Jorge Luis Borges, and others.