Advanced Creative Nonfiction

This course offers students an opportunity to continue to practice writing creative nonfiction in a guided workshop format. 

notebook on keyboard of laptop

The primary emphasis in the course will be on the professor and students reading and providing constructive feedback on the students’ creative nonfiction writings. In addition, the students will read further examples of various types of creative nonfiction writing and complete writing exercises designed to allow them to work on the voice, structure, and technique of their writing.

Throughout the semester, students will turn in short writing exercises and essays, culminating in either perfecting an essay to submit for possible publication or drafting a proposal for a book-length publication.

The course objectives are to help students do the following:

+ Develop even further their experience and understanding of the rich and diverse creative nonfiction genre
+ Refine their own voices and techniques commonly used in creative nonfiction in their own writing
+ Improve their own writing style so that they express themselves gracefully and effectively
+ Determine their space in the broad creative nonfiction genre and further explore the opportunities for continuing to develop their creative writing abilities
+ Perfect one of their essays and select a publishing target for it or develop a proposal for a book-length project

This course is designed for students with experience in writing creative nonfiction, such as completion of MLSC 617 or a similar course or creative writing workshop experience elsewhere. For those who have not taken a creative nonfiction course in the MLS program, consultation with the instructor is recommended before enrolling.


Section Instructor Format Schedule start date
MLSC 624 Deborah J. Barrett On-campus 6:15-9:30pm Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Instructor: Deborah J. Barrett

Deborah J. Barrett, Ph.D., is professor of the practice of writing and communication at Rice University, where she teaches graduate courses in academic writing and research and creative writing, and undergraduate courses in leadership communication, negotiations and consulting. She has published articles on literature, communication and leadership topics and serves on the editorial board of several scholarly journals. Her book, "Leadership Communication," is in its fourth edition and is one of the top-selling texts in professional communication programs. She has participated in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival since 2007 and has been admitted to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference four times: three for her creative nonfiction and most recently for her fiction. She is currently writing and publishing creative nonfiction essays under the name Deborah Burch-Lavis and has started a novel. Her recently published personal essay, “The Last Christmas,” is included in the anthology Shifts (MuseWrite Press), a 2015 USA Best Book Awards finalist. Dr. Barrett holds a bachelor's degree in English and speech and a master's degree in English from the University of Houston, as well as a doctorate in English from Rice.

Term: Spring/Summer 2018

Start Date: Jan. 10, 2018

End Date: March 21, 2018

Schedule: 6:15-9:30pm

Length: Ten Wednesdays with one extra class to be scheduled

Location: Rice campus

Note: This course is part of the Graduate Liberal Studies program. For more information on how to apply, click ADMISSIONS below.

You Might Also Like…

Shaping Your Story

Alexis Glynn Latner

The World of Medieval Knights

World of Medieval Knights Instructors

Journal Writing for a Lifetime

Nancy Geyer