Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Introduction to Creative Writing: Memoir and Literary Journalism

ENGL 3017.301
TR 12:00-1:30pm

A workshop focused on the way writers combine memoir and reporting in ways that illuminate the story inside history and connect the personal to public narratives. Through their own prose and the prose of celebrated contemporary essayists, students will learn to render events on the page in language that is honest and engaging—whether recounting a family drama or the real facts behind a headline. With emphasis on the question of how to situate a private life in the collective world, this course will analyze the art of narrative prose, studying some of the best practitioners of this genre including Cathy Park Hong, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Joann Beard, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Nikole Hannah-Jones in order to write and revise our own nonfiction. Students will be asked to write (and rewrite) three very short pieces and, as a final project, one longer piece that explores a historical moment through personal experience. The course is suitable for both beginners and experienced writers.

English Major Requirements
English Concentration Attributes
  • Creative Writing Workshop Course Minor (AECW)
  • Journalistic Writing Minor (AEJW)
College Attributes
Additional Attributes