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Intro to Creative Writing: Extreme Noticing

ENGL 3020.301
T 5:15-8:15pm

In the words of novelist Alice LaPlantte, “our first job as writers” is “to notice.” We all notice the world around as we make our way through each day, but “noticing” as a writer is different. Whether working on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or any other genre, the writer has to pay attention to the very small, to zoom in on the specific detail or insight that can make even the most mundane moment feel entirely new. Noticing in this way is a skill that, like most skills, is developed with practice. In this class, we’ll practice paying attention to the small with weekly writing prompts and take occasional “noticing excursions” around campus. Along the way, we’ll review student writing as a group and read works by great contemporary noticers, including Karl Ove Knausgaard, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ben Lerner, and Miranda July. Questions? Contact me at

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