Creative Writing: Introduction to Nonfiction Prose
With its roots stemming from the Old French meaning “to try,” “to weight,” or “to test,” the essay has enjoyed a rebirth in the twenty-first century as a way for writers of all abilities and backgrounds to try, weigh, or test the world around them. The essay allows for many kinds of exploration, meditation, and contemplation, most often told through the lens of someone’s personal experience. In this course, we will explore the field of creative nonfiction through the many functions of the essay form – the essay as meditation, as personal experience, or as cultural criticism. We will also look at the ways in which the essay form has also become a public sounding board in literary journalism, has become not only a short form but also a long form, and how the essay has become an opportunity for experimentation with the ways in which we place stories on a page. Throughout the semester, students will read essays written by past and contemporary authors, as well as compose three essays of their own. Students will also participate in workshops with their peers and significantly revise one of their assignments to be included in an end-of-term portfolio.