WRIT3980-04.Topics: Truth or Fiction.Sp16.Holbrook,Carolyn

Faculty Name

Carolyn Holbrook

Document Type






Course Subject


Course Number


Course Section


Course Title

Topics: Truth or Fiction

Academic Term and Year

Spring 2016



Hamline Plan Letter

F, W

Area of Study


Course Description

NOTE: THIS CLASS IS A HYBRID COURSE - PART ONLINE/PART FACE-TO-FACE ON-CAMPUS. The class will meet online for the first half of the semester. After spring break (starting on Tuesday, March 29) the class will be meeting on campus on Tuesday evenings from 6-9 pm. WRIT 3980-04: Truth or Fiction (Hamline Plan: F, W) Prerequisite: WRIT 3000 or instructor's approval. Everyone leads a life that is important enough to write about. Everyone is an authority on something, whether that something is personal or something of importance in the larger scheme of things. Toni Morrison said, “I write the books I’ve always wanted to read.” Pablo Neruda wrote an ode to his sox and Tillie Olsen wrote “I stand here ironing.” Conversely, Ernest Hemingway wrote about bullfighting but never about his alcoholism, which probably would have been a more interesting topic. There’s no doubt that your life has been full of interesting, fun or painful events that you have wanted to write about. Maybe you want to reveal names, dates or places — but maybe you fear that you might hurt someone or worse, that you may be sued. Should our stories be written as truthful essays or memoirs, or as fiction? We will explore reading and writing both creative nonfiction and fiction in this course and will meet with authors who work in multiple genres. Throughout the course, students will attempt to discover which genre(s) you are most comfortable telling your truths in. We will read and discuss some excellent short works of fiction and creative nonfiction. All of the readings will be springboards to our own writing; we’ll do in-class and take home exercises and will produce one longer piece, which will be graded. All of your writing will constitute a portfolio which you will build throughout the term so be sure to save everything. Instructor: Carolyn Holbrook

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