WRITE 297 A3: Introduction to Writing: Nonfiction

C. Wiesenthal

WRITE 297 is an introductory class in writing short-form creative nonfiction. What is "creative nonfiction" exactly? Grappling with the history, definition, and understanding of this term will be one of our first (and on-going) tasks this term.

Throughout the term, we will not only consider theories, problems and possibilities of short creative nonfiction writing, but examine the inventive and dramatic techniques used by published authors when writing about the actual world and experience.

In dialogue with the published essays we take up for analysis on a weekly basis, we will also be experimenting in our own writing with a similar range of techniques and strategies - from invention to research and revision.

An important note: WRITE 297 proceeds from the premise that strong writing and imaginative skills depend upon the cultivation of strong reading and analytic skills - a reading practice that is both wide in range and "close" in its engagement with individual texts. Students enrolled in this section should be ready to apply themselves to the assigned readings.

In addition to formal term assignments, course work will include informal writing and reading exercises and activities (some in-class, some assigned to be completed outside of class). A sizeable participation/attendance grade component will include the completion of any such informal exercises, as well as end-of-term personal reflection/presentation and editorial self-assessment assignments.

NOTE, also ESSENTIAL: WRITE 297 is run as a student-driven workshop collective that is writing intensive. Students are required to hand in drafts of their own work to be critiqued in small and large workshop groups on a regular basis on the draft deadlines listed. Advance submission of drafts, regular attendance and participation in class sessions and peer editing are essential and mandatory components of this course.