ENGL 603: Special Topics in Forms of Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction (Oestreich) ENGL603_OestreichJ_SampleSyllabus
English 603 is a course in the forms of creative writing. In this section of the class, students will examine the history, movements, and technical forms of the essay and the memoir in an effort to better understand influences that may affect the nonfiction writer today.
This is a course in the forms (and by “forms” I largely mean “subgenres”) of creative nonfiction. We will touch upon the history and movements in literary nonfiction writing, but because creative nonfiction is a relatively new field (by that name, anyway) we will focus our concentration on essays written in the last forty years. We will analyze these works carefully, with an eye toward theory and technique, in order to discover how they operate, what makes them successful, and why they may have captured the imaginations of editors and audiences. You will also engage with critical essays written by creative writers, lead a discussion on how theory meets practice in a selected creative nonfiction essay, give a group presentation on a memoir or essay collection, and write and revise a research-based paper that investigates form and craft. Finally—because the primary goal of this class is to broaden your understanding of literary nonfiction in order to improve your own creative work—you will write, workshop, and revise an original piece.