English | Writing Creative Nonfiction
W311 | 27667 | Alyce Miller
W311 27667 WRITING CREATIVE NONFICTION
PREREQUISITE: Requires permission of instructor.
5:45p-7:00p MW (15 students) 3 cr.
TOPIC: “The Personal Essay”
This exciting writing class is open to all interested applicants who
have successfully completed either W103, W203 (fiction or poetry),
W301/303, or the equivalent, with at least a B, and have a sincere
interest in writing creative nonfiction with a focus on the personal
essay. You do not have to be an English major to apply, and
nontraditional students are always extra-welcome!
The application process is easy. Please send an email text (no
attachments, please) to firstname.lastname@example.org in which you include
1. Ten pages (maximum) of your best or most interesting writing
(fiction, poetry, nonfiction).
2. A paragraph or two telling me a little about yourself: who your
AI was, what grade you received, and a little about your reasons for
wanting to take a class in creative nonfiction.
3. A current email address, and your name and local address.
4. Please write the words "Application to W311" on the subject line
of your email.
Students are admitted and authorized as they apply, so you are
encouraged to get your applications in as early as possible to
increase your chances. This class fills quickly.
The class will be organized around weekly themes, which will be
generated from readings by such varied practitioners of the personal
essay across culture, century, and experience as Seneca, Sei
Shonagon. Charles Lamb, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, Roland
Barthes, Natalia Ginzberg, James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Edward
Hoagland, Joy Williams, Alice Walker, Edwidge Danticat, Joanna
Beard, Luc Sante, Fred D’Aguiar, Edward Abbey, Gerald Early, John
Edgar Wideman, Cynthia Ozick, Darryl Pinckney, Richard Selzer,
Cheryl Strayed, etc. We will consider essays of all different
Some of our themes will include constructing the “self” in relation
to family, love, the heart in conflict, the human body, animals,
medicine, law, culture, society, social justice, travel, etc.
The format of the class will center on close readings and
discussions of assigned essays, and workshop (your work). You will
write approximately 35-40 pages of creative nonfiction over the
semester which will be shown according to a workshop schedule
(usually 3 workshops for each class member, depending on class
size). All students will be asked to turn in written peer critiques
the day of the workshops. Other assignments might include an
occasional quiz, a few short critical presentations on the readings,
and a short, end-of-the semester exam over the readings.
Enthusiastic participation in workshop discussions and the
willingness to give and receive constructive criticism are key.
For more information about Professor Alyce Miller, please visit my