2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Reading as a Writer: Creative Nonfiction

Spring quarter

Faculty: Joli Sandoz Literary, disability, leisure and religious studies

Fields of Study: literature and writing

Spring: CRN (Credit) Level 30285 (8)  

Credits: 8(S)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior

Offered During: Evening


What makes a piece of writing interesting? How do authors of creative nonfiction engage our imaginations and emotions, catching us up to soar and suffer as prompted by words on the page? And how can reading the best writing teach us to turn our own prose into interesting reading for others? We will engage in careful reading, discussions, writing exercises and short peer response sessions as we explore and apply our developing knowledge of the craft of creative nonfiction writing.

Each participant will write three, 3-4 page commentary papers on selected essays during the quarter, research and present information relevant to one author's work, and create and read to program members writing of their own. The guiding purpose of our work together will be to become more aware as readers and hence more informed as practitioners of the craft of creative writing. All readers and writers, aspiring or experienced, are welcome.

Our working definition of creative nonfiction will be this one, borrowed from Robert Root: "the written expression of, reflection upon, and/or interpretation of observed, perceived, or recollected experience" featuring "literary approaches" and the author's discernable "personal presence" ( The Nonfictionist's Guide: On Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction; 3, x). We'll focus on two specific types of creative nonfiction: personal essays, which place Root's "reflection upon" and "interpretation of" experience into a larger cultural frame, and meditative essays, which reflect on ideas or emotions. Readings will be selected from a wide range of topics and writers, across several centuries. Prospective students are invited to suggest particular essays or authors by emailing the faculty.

Credits will be awarded in literature and in creative nonfiction writing.

Maximum Enrollment: 25

Advertised Schedule: 5:30-9:30p Mon/Wed

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com