ENGL 3081 Intermediate Nonfiction Workshop


Instructor: Breanne Pye

Email:  Breanne.Pye@Colorado.EDU 


At its core, literary, or creative nonfiction is about telling true stories. It is the process of grappling with what “true” means, how meaning is made and how, as writers, we can share our truths with others. While this process can be both thrilling and daunting, it is always artistically complex. When we share our stories, they become something bigger than a thing that happened to us. The second our stories are read, they become a part of literary tradition that exists outside of boundaries or labels –they become a chapter in the bigger story of humanity.  In order to help you generate and craft material in the most effective way, I have organized this course around several sub genres of creative nonfiction, from memoir to travel writing to graphic novels to personal/political/journalistic essays. Studying the structures and techniques of published works in these subgenres (which often overlap), will help you choose appropriate angles from which to tell your own stories. Because this is a workshop course, we will be reading and writing every day, and we will be responding to each other’s writing every week. So, roll your sleeves up and get ready to dive in! I can’t wait to see what we come up with together!


Throughout this course you will learn to:

1. Identify the different methods of constructing truth in creative nonfiction.
2. Recognize sub-genres of literary nonfiction writing.
3. Analyze those readings in order to identify craft techniques and stylistic choices and interpret their impact on the reader.
4. Discover from our discussion on these readings an array of literary tools that speak to your goals as a writer, and to practice/modify these tools for your own work.
5. Compose your own works of nonfiction in which your truths are communicated to the reader with the aid of purposeful use of craft elements.
6. Examine the work of your classmates in order to provide thoughtful critique that will help them explore and practice the discipline of revision.
7. Locate your own writing choices within the creative and cultural contexts that have shaped their meaning.


Selected Readings on our Canvas Course Website. (canvas.colorado.edu)



Discussion Board Posts/Reading Responses 20%
Short Writing Assignments 20%
Workshop Drafts with Writer’s Statement 25%
Peer Workshop Feedback 20%
Final Portfolio: 15%

Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado