I’m teaching this summer

And it’s a creative writing seminar, right here at UNLV. And the first thing I’ll say is that it’s OK to start a paragraph with “and.” And then I’ll say that if you start 3 sentences in a row with the same word, your reader will begin to get annoyed.

The class is called “Crafting Creative Non-Fiction.” It’s an Honors College class, HON 400, section 1, in Summer Session 2, which runs from June 9 to July 11. I know that some people are down on “creative non-fiction” as the name of a genre, but it seems to convey the pith of the concept: you’re using literary techniques to write true stories more effectively.

If you want to learn more, check out the syllabus. Even if you don’t want to take the class (I know that 99% of the people who read this aren’t eligible, since they’re not UNLV students), you can learn a little. For example, each of the things that I warn students not to do is in there because I have had students do them in class and express shock, anger, and regret when I ask them to stop.

Having a snappy epigram can invest a middling writer with insight far beyond his own talent, so I begin the syllabus with this one:

“Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.”- H. L. Menken

I hope I can get a few students to sign up. It should be fun.

UPDATE: I wrote but didn’t post this a few days ago, and I’ve had a bit of turmoil–albeit fun turmoil–in my life lately. Some of you know exactly what I mean. Let’s just say I’ve got a lot more than a new class to fret over. I’ll be posting only sporadically for a while, and, if you are trying to get me at work, I’m going to be on leave for the next few months, so emailing me is your best option.

Spread the love