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.