Writing in English: Creative Non-Fiction in English

Course content

This is a course for students interested in exploring what it might mean to write and read creative non-fiction in the present moment. We will be looking at several aspects and challenges of a current moment through key writers in this genre, not least: 1) the construction of nature, 2) current political challenges from asylum law to race politics in the US, 3) the dynamics of gender, 4) the politics of empathy/difference. For those of you interested in writing academically for this course, you’ll be doing a review essay and a longer piece on the way one of these issues is being discussed today in the public sphere.


But this course is also about the mechanics of writing. Thus, we’ll be reading the texts on this course with an eye to their narration; their delivery of narrative, and what makes them readable/true/reliable/controversial. For those of you interested in expanding your own writing in this register, the course will offer opportunities to experiment in writing creative non-fiction. In doing do, you’ll be thinking about how to position yourself as a narrator? For what kind of audience? How do journalistic topics work to generate and sustain interest?


We’ll be reading essays by recent masters of the craft – stand out figures in the worlds of nature writing, literary journalism, and the essay as polemic – alongside essays by celebrated writers. In each case, we’ll be discussing both the issues raised by and the craft involved in the work we read. Our weekly meetings will be accompanied by a lecture from practicing writers and literary scholars. Moreover, there will be four workshops delving into the techniques of each topic. 


Please be prepared for this to be a course in which you will be actively writing, workshopping, and redrafting your essays for the full length of the course.

Kurset udbydes til alle kandidatstuderende på Institut for Engelsk, Germansk og Romansk, samt som KA-tilvalg for studerende fra andre institutter.
Det kan tages som en del af studiemønstret Writing in English eller som frit emnekursus.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Portfolio, A joint portfolio uploaded in digital exam: Deadline June 9th 2021
The 15 ECTS class will be examined by a portfolio exam consisting of two piece of creative non-fiction (or academic prose), one 5 pages and one 8 pages, as well as 4 x 2 pages pieces linked to guest workshops (approx. 21-5 pages).
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • English
  • 409,5