English | Writing Creative Nonfiction
W311 | 1828 | Woodcock

1:25p-3:20p W (15) 3 cr.


This workshop is devoted to the wide field of writings that are non-
fictional and yet creative in that the particular intelligence and
sensibility of the writer is an important part of the project. The
field includes, among other genres, the personal essay,
autobiography and biography, and certain kinds of cultural
commentary and documentary projects. The goals of the workshop
are to expand its members' understanding of creative nonfiction, to
bring them closer to their potential as writers, and to give them
practice in giving and receiving constructive criticism within one
model of a writing community.

During the semester the instructor will introduce autobiography,
the personal essay, and perhaps another mode or two, guided by
the interests of class members. Students will be relatively free to
work on several projects of their choice, but they will have to write
in at least two different modes.

Workshop members will normally be expected to hand in a
minimum of  50 pages of finished work--typically four pieces of
new work and a thorough revision of one of them. (After the
opening weeks, students will hand in about ten finished pages
every two or three weeks.) Everyone will read and comment in
writing on all submissions. We will frequently discuss the process
of writing, and there will be a required text or two. There will be
no exams. Grades will be based on the quality and quantity of work
submitted and on contribution to the discussion of classmates'
work. Timely submission of work will be essential.

Admission is by consent of the instructor based on a sample of
previous work and to some degree on your background. Please put
two pieces (10-20 pages) of your writing closest to creative
nonfiction in my departmental mailbox, along with a short note
about your experience as a writer and your hopes for this course.
Include your phone number, e-mail and mailing addresses, and add
a self-addressed envelope if you want the sample back. I will
review submissions weekly beginning mid-late October and post
the results on my door (BH428) and with the Undergraduate
Secretary. As soon as you are admitted, contact the Undergraduate
Secretary in BH402 for an on-line authorization.

I would be glad to discuss the course with prospective students. If
you have questions about the course, please contact me first by e-
mail (woodcock@indiana.edu). You might also consult the
grapevine and/or my web site for an earlier version of the course