What is Literary Non-Fiction?
Literary non-fiction is a broad term describing a range of writing genres, all of which have two simple things in common: they are written in prose (as opposed to poetry), and they deal with non-fictional subject matter (as opposed to novels or short stories).
In a sense, literary non-fiction is the documentary film of the literary world, and as with documentaries, literary non-fiction essays and books represent a vast range of styles and subject matter. Some works are funny. Some are investigative. Some are personal. Some are analytical. Other texts are many or all of these things combined.
In this course you will experiment with both literary and academic modes of writing. Models you will encounter include essays about road trips, cancer, weasels, men's fashion, small towns, the writing process, Christian worship, cancer, and Holocaust deniers. You will also read about personal transformation, grief, anger, wonder and hope. In each case the writer takes a form familiar to most undergraduate students the essay and through it explores a particular corner of his or her world. Like all good essays, the works are informative they exhibit solid research, a depth of experience and a strong grasp of the material in question.
In WRIT 295 students will
experiment with both literary and academic modes of writing through course assignments.
engage the essay as a literary form.
encounter a range of contemporary writers working in a variety of fields (travel writing, biography, personal essay, etc.).
examine some of the stylistic and mechanical aspects of literary non-fiction writing.
evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the writing they come across.
explore some of the similarities and differences between literary and academic writing.
Through these experiences students will
improve their critical reading skills through close readings of course texts.
improve their writing skills by creating original literary and academic essays and by participating in dialogue with their markers/instructors through forums, feedback, e-mail, etc.
gain greater insight into the breadth and potential of non-fiction writing, both as readers and writers.
Questions concerning registration and fees should be directed to:
The Writing Centre, Stauffer Library
Kingston, Ont. K7L 5C4
(613) 533-6315 / fax: (613) 533-6189