In this course, students who have taken Intro to Nonfiction Writing will continue their study of literary nonfiction writing, honing their skills as a reader, a writer, and a critic. Students will read literary essays as well as essays on craft, and will produce a substantial body of their own work, which will be discussed in roundtable workshops.
In creative nonfiction, writers are hemmed in by two equally powerful forces—the facts (those unalterable details, such as time, place, people, and history) and the self (the consciousness, the "I" who experiences, argues, presents, and feels). In this intermediate course, students will read and write with careful attention to these two forces, creating essays that span from literary journalism to the more intimate works of memoir and personal essay. Students will discover the ways in which prose style is inextricable from content—that is, the way style itself plays a vital role in revealing the emotional and historical meaning of a text. They will learn to hone their unique voice and forms and to write with skill and verve about things that are real.