ENGL-452-01 – Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
Instructor: Prof. N. Tilden
Meeting Times: TF 2PM – 3:15PM
Location: Reiss 261A
ENGL 452.01 Advanced Nonfiction Writing: Experiments in the Essay Spring 2023
Right now is a sweet time to be an essayist, exploring the imaginative possibilities of that
protean form as it stretches, bends, and interacts with other creative forms to shape innovative pieces of nonfiction prose: flash essays, braided essays, object lessons, narrative essays, hermit crabs, segmented essays, and essay sequences—to name only a few.
Following in the exploratory tradition of Michel de Montaigne’s first edition of his Essais in
1580, the contemporary essay offers an ongoing experiment in form. While the course will
include short readings in the history of the essay genre and a generous sampling of recent
essayists, our workshop will focus on writing produced by the class. Workshop meetings will engage participants as both writers and craft-conscious readers.
The format of the workshop will reflect this reading/writing dynamic. Many class days will be dedicated to studying published essays, slowing down our already close reading to pick up notes on craft. Other class meetings will offer workshop sessions in which one or more students will present their work-in-progress for discussion. While this seminar/workshop format can be fun and effective, it places more responsibility on participants than a lecture class. The course will demand your full and active engagement, both in the classroom and in your writing.
- It is recommended that students will have completed at least one introductory level
creative writing course before enrolling in the advanced workshop.