Types of Creative Writing

Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction


In this course, we will be reading and practicing the art of fiction and nonfiction, focusing on narratives about, and for, young adults. We will begin with nonfiction, reading true-to-life narratives on aspects of the young adult experience, while also studying craft essays on the art and practice of nonfiction.

We will continue the semester with fiction, reading a selection of young adult stories while also engaging critical ideas on what makes fiction work. We will supplement all of our reading with essays on what makes the young adult form effective and unique for its particular audiences.

During each class, students will complete in-class writing prompts to inspire their own individual storylines, practicing techniques in nonfiction and fiction, respectively. These exercises will develop into complete drafts of original creative writing, utilizing craft practices we discuss in class.

Since this is a small-group course, developing a community of dedicated readers and writers is important. Students should commit themselves to steady attendance; attendance is not optional. Students should also plan to be present the first day of class through the last week of instruction.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Interpret creative writing through close reading and viewing.
  • Engage the ideas and the writing of others in active, compassionate, critical ways.
  • Draft and revise original creative writing by a series of deadlines, prepared for a small audience of readers.
  • Track different modes of thought on fiction and nonfiction by engaging a body of craft work and practices.
  • Discover your own aesthetics within fiction and nonfiction.

Tentative Texts

  • American Son, Brian Ascalon Roley
  • PDFs for download on Laulima.


  • Short nonfiction piece, 700 words.
  • Long Nonfiction piece, 2,000 words.
  • Short fiction piece, 700 words.
  • Long Fiction piece. 2,000 words.
  • Comments on classmates’ writing pieces.
  • One brief presentation on one reading.
  • Steady attendance and participation in class conversations.