Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

What kind of stories can we tell when we give up fiction? How can we write about ourselves and the world and not be dull?

By reading as writers, identifying (and experimenting with) genre, and by writing, we will explore several varieties of the creative nonfiction essay, including memoir, lyric essay, and travel writing. Readings are meant to illustrate and to inspire, but as much as we may admire them, we will test all that we read to see what is useful and what’s otherwise. We will apply a similarly rigorous approach to our own writing. In addition to essays, you will write exercises (focused writings free of essayistic demands) and notebook responses. We will workshop each other’s essays and share our exercises (you will always write for an audience other than me). Finally, you’ll assemble a portfolio.

Take Risks. That’s the license "creative" gives. Nonfiction is a ground, but need not be any more limiting than its counterpart, fiction.

To explore what nonfiction means in light of the complication that what is true might be entirely subjective; to write clearly; to consider alternative research methods; and to tell true stories. These skills are directly applicable to every area of college study.

Prerequisites: Beyond enthusiasm for creative writing, there are no prerequisites.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEEL0920
  • Length: 3 weeks

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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