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CW 131 - Introduction to the Craft of Creative Nonfiction

Fall 2017
Description 

This course in creative writing focuses on the craft of reading and writing creative nonfiction. The course provides an introduction to craft: how creative nonfiction is generated, what its elements are, and how finished pieces work. Students explore these aspects of craft through careful study of models by published writers, and through writing and revising their own short pieces.

 

Available in 
Fall
Prerequisites 
Fulfillment of both halves (Parts A and B) of the Reading & Composition Requirement or consent of instructor
Units and Format 
3 units – Three hours of lecture per week
Grading Option 
Letter grade

Section

Theme

Time

Instructor

Class Number: 13472
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 11:00am @ 174 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: Creative Nonfiction
Instructor: Kaya Oakes
Section Description:

Creative nonfiction is the dominant literary form of our time. Over 2/3 of books on the best-seller list, in addition to thousands of essays in magazines, newspapers and blogs demonstrate the urgency of truth-telling today. The "creative" in creative nonfiction refers to craft rather than imagination: creative nonfiction uses literary techniques to engage readers in true stories. This course in creative writing focuses on the craft of reading and writing creative nonfiction. The course provides an introduction to craft: how creative nonfiction is generated, what its elements are, and how finished pieces work. Students explore these aspects of craft through careful study of models by published writers, and through writing and revising their own short pieces.

Over the course of the semester, you will write three creative nonfiction essays: a personal essay, a profile, and a researched nonfiction essay. Each essay will build off of short exercises and take into consideration literary techniques demonstrated in the books we will read. Because creative nonficton is a genre that's open to a vast variety of topics, this means students from all majors can use this class to learn how write about their passions and interests for a wide audience.

Book List:

James Baldwin, Notes of A Native Son

Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

Joan Didion, The White Album

Phillip Lopate, The Art of the Personal Essay

Call and Kramer, Telling True Stories