Types of Creative Writing

The first half of this course will focus on creative non-fiction, with a
particular emphasis on writing about place. The works we read may be in the
form of personal essay, travel writing, and/or investigative writing. Along the
way we’ll explore how the
environment – a desert; a city; a volcano – succeeds or does not succeed in
becoming a character; how much of one’s self the writer develops through
writing about the land; and most importantly, perhaps, what is really being

As a transition to the second half
of the course, we’ll explore the boundary between non-fiction and fiction. For
instance, the former is more thesis-driven, argumentative, and yet, it also
leaves room for some of the elements of fiction to be drawn, such as humor and
characterization. We’ll discuss which you
prefer to read and write, fiction or
essay, and why. Is there a time when you felt a fiction writer should be
writing an essay instead? Is there a time when you wish a non-fiction writer
should make something up? We’ll then dive into stories from a variety of
places, focusing our discussion around particular elements of craft, such as
point of view, character, and setting.

Writing assignments will include
frequent response papers on the reading as well as three polished works of
original creative writing in both genres, non-fiction and in fiction. You will
have the opportuntiy to revise your work before submitting a final version, so
participation in peer review is required. Other requirements include: class
participation in discussion on the reading; regular and punctual attendance;
individual and group presentations.

Reading List: HIGH TIDE IN TUCSON by
CONTEMPORARY SHORT STORIES by Daniel Halpern (editor); and a possible course
reader of additional short stories.