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ENG 322

Creative Writing II: Nonfiction Topics

This course will explore a specific genre of nonfiction in depth. Class will operate as an advanced writing workshop that uses master works as models and inspiration. Offerings might include profiles, travel writing, personal essays, reviews, memoir, nature writing or literary nonfiction. Prerequisite: ENG 149.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
ENG 149 1 course

Fall Semester information

Samuel Autman

322A: Creative Nonfiction:Topics: The Brief Essay

How much can you say in one thousand words? A lot, it turns out. This course requires that students employ the precision of a poet and yet think expansively like an essayist, a brief essayist. While flash nonfiction is enjoying a renaissance in creative writing, it has been a tool at essayists' fingertips for centuries. In this class students will push themselves to write fully bodied essays in a small amount a space. This course draws inspiration from Dinty W. Moore, founder of Brevity http://brevitymag.com/ and DePauw's 2019 visiting distinguished professor of creative writing for the spring semester.

Gregory Schwipps

322B: Creative Nonfiction Topics: Nature Writing

Creative nonfiction, like fiction or poetry, is a type of creative writing. As such, it uses the tools of the creative writer: figurative language (similes, metaphors), dialogue, flashbacks, scenes, frames -- in short, tools that increase the dramatic effect of a piece of writing. Various types of creative nonfiction exist: personal essays, articles, travel accounts, profiles, memoirs and narrative histories. Not every Introduction to Creative Writing course covers creative nonfiction, so we will read quite a bit to gain a sense of the genre and its possibilities. Class discussions over the reading material should provide insight into your own writing options. But, as a writing course, much of our class time will be spent workshopping the written work of your peers. Not everything you write will be workshopped; some projects you will want to keep fairly private. However, we will utilize the workshop for two of the five projects. We will work in class to understand the business of writing, and you will write query letters to learn how to sell your writing ideas. As a nature writing course, all of our assignments will connect, somehow, to the natural world.

Spring Semester information

Dinty Moore

322A: Crtv Non-Fiction: Topics: Risk and Reward in Memoir ? Writing Family, Trauma, and Personal Conflict

One of the worries facing memoir writers is that writing about family or friends will offend someone, or that the depiction will be unfair. Writing about the self is just as tricky: how do you see yourself clearly enough to give a rounded, credible depiction? Writing about past trauma adds another layer of concern: what tone to strike, how much to divulge? This course will explore how we navigate the emotional and literary terrain that comes with depicting private lives for public consumption. We will read work by professional writers, but the main focus will be work produced by students in the course.