Designing peer review: Research and intentional practices for effective online creative writing workshops

Lori Ostergaard and Marshall Kitchens

I really appreciate that everyone seemed to take an interest in one another’s writing, and that the peer reviews and other replies were written well and taken seriously. I realize that posting your writing for your classmates to see can be intimidating and lead you to want to open up less, because I experience that myself, but I loved that everyone seemed comfortable enough to be open in telling their stories, as well as respectful in replying to stories that clearly came from a hard or emotional place. I think that everyone’s ability to open up in their writing this semester and be serious about responding to each other’s writing is what made the semester a great one. Good job everyone!

(Becky, online student, fall 2019)1

It is commonplace to speak of the workshop as the “signature pedagogy in creative writing” (Stukenberg, 2017: 277), to laud the workshop’s role in helping students to shape texts and introducing them to the craft of creative writing. As Jill Stukenberg observes, through the workshop, creative writing students “develop many key habits of mind, including awareness of how readers interpret, and even co-create, texts ... and the intimate understanding that drafts are drafts, [and] that manuscripts ... are created through play, revision, choice, and even accident” (278). Workshopping is a common practice for writing faculty across many specializations, but faculty in diverse fields outside of writing have also begun to recognize its effectiveness. For example, in a 2014 study, Raoul A. Mulder, Jon M. Pearce, and Chi Baik examined student perceptions prior to and following the use of peer review in four disciplines: zoology, information systems, engineering, and environmental science. Chief among their findings was a significant increase in their students’ recognition that in reviewing their classmates’ papers, they had also learned how to revise their own texts (163). Mulder, Pearce, and Baik’s conclusions will not surprise the readers of this collection who understand that, in offering observations and recommendations to their classmates, our students “return to their own work with those fresh eyes and sharpened perspectives” necessary for improvement (Stukenberg, 2017: 283). Indeed, most of the students in this study reported that their papers had improved as a result of both their peers’ feedback and their own “self-reflection after reviewing their peers’ work” (166). Mulder, Pearce, and Baik make a number of recommendations for improving face-to-face peer reviews that echo our own approach to designing online workshops, including providing training prior to the first workshop, offering models for effective review, outlining “clear and detailed criteria and guidelines” for student reviewers, and assessing students’ reviews of their classmates’ work (2014: 167-168).

Most of the students in a creative nonfiction course we teach at Oakland University (an R2 university in southeast Michigan) have already encountered some kind of writing workshop model in their high school English classes or in their first-year writing classes, and many, like our student quoted in the epigraph above, are apprehensive about participating in their first creative writing workshop. Indeed, students’ concerns about workshopping may be compounded when their creative writing class is offered online, in a space where they are required to offer substantive feedback in written form to classmates who they may never meet in person.

Current research into peer response practices demonstrates what many of us have long understood: when they conduct their first workshop, many creative writing students “lack the confidence and commitment to engage in peer review” (Dixon and Hawe, 2017: 8). These insecurities may be multiplied in online classes where they may not have an opportunity to participate in both formal writing workshops and more informal conversations before, during, and after class that can help to establish trust and build rapport. As Stukenberg notes, workshopping is a social process: “workshop for some necessarily encompasses not just the in- class sessions of critique but the conversations between students and faculty that spill over afterward, at the bar or guest writer’s reading” (2017: 280). But as Joseph Rein observes, in the online classroom, “creative writing instructors face a multitude of issues when attempting to recreate the human elements, the personal connections so prevalent, so necessary to the traditional creative writing classroom” (2015: 93). Rein highlights the essential, human aspects of the face-to-face workshop by suggesting that

the online classroom often cannot deliver, among other things, the immediacy of face-to-face peer interaction; the joy and discomfort of each individual student when [their] work becomes the center of a pointed, live discussion; the vocal tones and facial expressions so often necessary in deciphering said discussion; the improvised but necessary tangents; and for instructors, those teachable moments where an issue in one student’s work highlights a larger course concept.


In the online class, absent too are the shared bonding experiences that many of us take for granted in our face-to-face classes—a student cracking a joke that makes everyone laugh together or students complaining together about campus parking or the lines in the campus food court.

These casual and communal bonding experiences are often initially absent from online classes. However, as Marcelle Freiman suggests, although the creative writing workshop “is an extremely exposed situation for students to learn in” (para. 12), the absence of face-to-face contact in an online class may actually facilitate more meaningful workshop engagement. She argues that “behind the ‘screen’ of the internet, a comfortable interactive and collaborative space is created where personal differences and issues of confidence are less likely to interfere with learning” (para. 14). Heather Beck further argues that online classes may be “more democratic and less intimidating” for students because the online medium gives students time to think about how they want to respond and craft their responses to peers (35). Rein’s observations echo Beck’s as he posits that online creative writing classes may be more democratic than face-to-face classes. He praises the “asynchronous nature of online feedback [that] ... levels the playing field” and where “everyone in class has a voice” (93). He further suggests that “the immediacy of the face-to-face workshop, and its inclination toward the extroverted, can challenge even the most democratic of instructors” (93).

While some aspects of the online class medium may facilitate more meaningful and democratic interactions between our writers, in our experience as teachers of online creative writing, we have found that intentional online workshop design may also aid in (1) building student engagement, (2) increasing student-student and professor-student trust and rapport in the online classroom, and (3) supporting students’ growth from novice to more experienced writers. To be successful, such course design must take into account the fact that “developing an online community is paramount to student engagement” and that “additional efforts at engaging students are necessary in the online environment” compared to the traditional brick and mortar classroom (Girardi, 2016: 60). In the following sections, we overview some of our strategies for the intentional design of online workshops, including information about how to prepare students for active and collaborative engagement in the workshop, develop clear guidelines for student responses, provide effective feedback on workshop responses, and assess those responses. Because we believe reflection is a required component of the learning students do in the online workshop, throughout this chapter, we also include some excerpts from our students’ process reflections and from the acknowledgments they write to their peers at the end of the semester.

Course design

Before we introduce how we approach online workshops, it is necessary to briefly describe our course and online course management system. While ours is a third- year creative nonfiction course, because of the student population—a combination of majors from creative writing, professional and digital writing, journalism, communication, and education—the class serves both as an introduction to creative nonfiction and as a prerequisite for our online advanced creative nonfiction class. Our online classes are delivered asynchronously through Moodle, an open source course management system that includes discussion forums, chat rooms, announcements, assignment uploads, and other digital affordances, including the ability for students and instructors to easily record audio or video feedback.

In the creative nonfiction classes we teach online, students compose works in new discussion forums every week and then they provide one another with feedback on those creative works in threaded discussions. Some weeks we assign students to workshop in groups of three or four or we require them to respond to a certain number of works across the entire class. Both of us have extensive reading lists that include a variety of “craft” readings providing students with introductions to creative techniques as well as a collection of sample creative nonfiction readings that demonstrate those techniques, and we frequently ask students to reference concepts from those works in their workshop reviews. Students also revise two of their weekly works into longer stories that undergo multiple workshops before they are finally submitted to us, and they write reflections about both the process they used to write those longer works and the revision suggestions they received from their peers.

The majority of the class grade is related to the work students produce in the discussion forums, including their weekly original works, their workshop responses, their reading responses, and their reflections on the writing and revision process. The remaining percentage of the course grade is divided evenly among the two larger, more polished, works students revise: a memoir and either a family story or a travel piece.

Preparing the online workshop

In designing our asynchronous workshops, we have found that rather than stultifying the creative writing workshop, the online medium increases student interaction, engagement, and critique compared to face-to-face workshops. As with face-to-face workshops, though, a considerable amount of front-loading of expectations and modeling of effective response is required to encourage meaningful engagement from students. In addition, as we discuss in the next section, some unique affordances are available to us in the online medium to prepare our students for workshopping, including informal spaces for students to share information and ideas that are not directly connected to the course and mechanisms for providing ground rules for respectful response.

Our course design deliberately builds toward risk tolerance, beginning with low-risk assignments that ensure success and escalating risk with structured rewards for student engagement throughout the semester. We supply students with direct instruction in the goals and structure of the review process in the early weeks of the course, we offer clear instructions for each workshop, and we provide the rubrics we use to evaluate students’ responses to one another. In our own responses to our students’ story drafts, we model good feedback practices, responding to students as we hope they will respond to one another. For example, if we provide students with specific questions to answer about their peers’ drafts, we will also answer those questions when we provide feedback on their drafts. At the beginning of the semester, we allow students to decide for themselves which pieces they will peer review. This gives our students some flexibility to respond to pieces that particularly move them or that they find compelling, but we ask that they also respond as “good online citizens” and find works that have not yet received a response.

To facilitate more casual connections among students, we provide a question and answer forum where students can post general questions about the course and receive answers from either us or their classmates. We also set aside a single forum, a “writers’ lounge,” where students can post questions or information relevant to the course, announcements about campus activities, and even links to their blogs or social media sites. While we see some interaction in both of these forums, the majority of the connections our students form develop organically within the weekly workshops. In these spaces, we find our students forming microcommunities that emerge from their familiarity with one another’s creative work. As they revise individual pieces into longer works, some of our students will seek out peers whose work they appreciated or reviewed in draft form. For example, in Lori’s winter 2019 class, Angus2 rereviewed a story Tammy had chosen to revise, praising her for the refinements she made to the story and offering new suggestions. Angus opened by acknowledging his familiarity with Tammy’s work, before offering some additional revision advice, telling Tammy, “You always write so passionately about your family and it really came through in this piece. I remember reading this when you first wrote it and you were somehow able to make it even more compelling this time around and it’s incredible, seriously.” In her response to Angus—which was not required for this workshop—Tammy thanked him for the feedback, noting that he was her “biggest fan” in the class.

Before participating in their first workshop, we provide students with directions to maintain a tone of civility, compassion, and encouragement. They’re advised to acknowledge when someone is being brave by sharing deeply personal stories and to avoid moral judgments. While they’re advised against being negative or hyper-critical, we also explicitly caution them to avoid evasive responses such as “It looks perfect as it is” or “I wouldn’t change a thing.” We also prepare our students to encounter stories that push them out of their comfort zone or challenge their beliefs with the following advice:

  • • If you read something that offends you, take a constructive approach in your response. Talk about the positives of the piece first, and then gently point out passages where the tone or content may have made you feel puzzled or uncomfortable as a reader or that you think others might find offensive. Suggest ways in which someone else might have seen things differently. Avoid accusations against the writer and instead favor explanations that describe your response as a reader.
  • • Don’t take feedback personally. If a classmate was a little snarky in their response to your work, try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Consider first how technology might be leading you to misconstrue their tone and intent. If something your reviewer said offended you, consider that they may have misunderstood you or you may have misunderstood their response. Take what is helpful from their feedback and leave the rest.

106 Lori Ostergaard and Marshall Kitchens Designing the workshop

We both have come to recognize that our students’ microcommunities enable them to make positive personal connections in a seemingly impersonal space, which in turn creates the conditions for success in our online workshops. In this section, we discuss some of the elements of an effective online writing workshop, including how to set up formal response guidelines and word counts, set expectations for these exchanges, and provide clear evaluation standards.

Before we compose the instructions for an online workshop, we begin by asking ourselves the following questions:

  • • What creative skills did we intend for students to develop with this writing assignment?
  • • What types of feedback might benefit students at this stage of their writing process, and how can we facilitate that kind of feedback?
  • • Given the questions above, what characterizes an effective peer response for this particular workshop?

Because we cannot be in the room with our students when they read and respond to their peers’ work and because we cannot remedy asynchronous workshops that have gone astray until after the reviews are completed, the answers to the questions above guide the directions we provide our students and determine both the roles or stances we ask our students to assume in the workshop and the kinds of questions we ask them to answer for their peers. Our directions for the workshops include all of the following elements:

  • 1 An explanation for the creative writing assignment that students will post for review.
  • 2 A list of the multiple deadlines for this work—typically one deadline for stories to be posted to the discussion forum and another deadline for the reviews of those stories.
  • 3 Instructions for how to respond to their peers’ work and a required word count for each of their responses.
  • 4 The number of peers whose work they will need to respond to.
  • 5 The rubric that we will use to evaluate their responses.

Four stances: compliment, connect, contribute, question

Prior to the first workshop, Lori introduces students to four stances to take in their reviews—compliment, connect, contribute, and question—and she defines them as follows:

To compliment, identify the strengths in the work, address only the positive aspects of the writer’s storytelling style, and praise their use of specific stylistic elements that were introduced in course materials.

To connect with a classmate’s story, write about how the story’s characters, situations, plot, resolutions, etc. affected you: sparked memories, thoughts, or emotions.

To contribute to your classmate’s story, offer specific suggestions for ways they can improve their storytelling and the story itself.

To question, provide five to six good, open-ended questions about the story that will help the writer fill in some of the blanks for their readers, explain more, or improve their characters, settings, etc.

In her feedback to her students’ stories, Lori models each stance, and in her feedback on their responses to their classmates, she offers suggestions for how they might improve their feedback while assuming each stance. We both emphasize the importance of the workshop by not responding to every story our students write so that they will recognize the value of their peers’ feedback. We also base the majority of our workshop grades on how well students responded to their peers’ work. Notably, the majority of the grade students receive on each workshop is shaped by the quality of their feedback rather than on the quality of their own creative works.

Lori asks students to assume certain stances in their reviews, and Marshall likewise provides a structure for workshopping drafts by asking his students to provide a combination of positive affirmations, questions and suggestions, and encouragement. He first asks students to provide positive affirmations, prompting students to:

  • • Address the author directly and sign your name at the end.
  • • Acknowledge what you think the story is about, whether or not it’s fully articulated. Point out some of the parts of the work that you thought especially vivid or effectively detailed or that resonated with you in some way.
  • • Point out ways that what they’ve written reflects advice given in any of the craft readings or reminds you of some of the model readings.
  • • Let the writer know that you appreciated the work and know that you got what they were trying to say.

Marshall then prompts students to ask questions and make suggestions:

  • • Give the writer something to work with when they go back to revise— particularly ideas about how to expand and reorganize. The goal isn’t to be critical, but to offer constructive feedback from a reader’s point of view about how they might revise and polish their piece.
  • • Avoid any variation of the line “I don’t really have any suggestions,” or “it looks great as it is.” That’s not helpful and will cost you points for the workshop. You might start out passages with “If you were to revise this ...”
  • • Point out anything that might be missing by asking clarifying questions. What factual questions do you have? What details should be added? What confused you? What more might they tell you about the setting, the people, the event?
  • • Point out any stylistic challenges. Is the beginning effective at creating a visual scene or jump starting the narrative? Is there another paragraph that might better serve as the beginning? Does the conclusion resonate? Or is it more summary and “moral of the story”?
  • • Look for other stylistic or content issues. Try to balance out the positive comments from the first section with constructive suggestions in this section.
  • • Is there any particular advice from the craft readings that you think might be helpful for them, or examples from the model readings? Be specific.

Finally, Marshall prompts students to provide a strong ending for their


  • • End on a positive note—your goal is to allow the writer to be excited about the possibilities of the piece rather than to shut them down.
  • • Push past clarifying questions to ask probing questions. What deeper questions does this piece raise for you about interpersonal relationships, about culture, about human nature? You might speculate on what the story is really about rather than just what it appears to be about on the surface. Try to push a little on what their theme might be.
  • • Give the writer encouragement to revise by pointing out what’s valuable about the piece or what potential it has to offer.

By the end of the semester, we find that our online students require less of this overt guidance in providing feedback, and they uniformly have a better feel for what is or is not working in their own stories. But we both require a set number of peer responses each week (each with a high required word count) and we incorporate those requirements into our evaluation criteria so that students continue to improve their responses in the online workshop. Of course, requiring students to respond at length is no guarantee of a quality response, but over the years we have found that pushing students to write more, particularly early in the semester, yields better, more thorough and engaged, responses throughout the term. Along with the guidelines and word counts, our workshop directions also include our full evaluation rubric. In the next section, we discuss providing feedback on workshops and present more detail on how we evaluate our students’ responses.

Workshop feedback

One benefit of teaching creative writing in a fully online format is that the learning students do is arguably more visible than in traditional face-to-face environments. This makes the instructor’s dual tasks of providing constructive formative feedback and of assessing students’ work a little easier. As Freiman notes, online creative writing workshops create “an environment for active learning in which it is possible to see what students actually do in their learning,” something that can be challenging to observe in face-to-face classes “given the diversity of students and the way they convey their understanding and engagement” (para. 8). In fact, Freiman notes that the “active and student-centered processes in creative writing” may actually “make it especially suited to online teaching and learning” (para. 9).

Our students begin workshops in the second week of the semester and these continue weekly throughout the term. Each week students produce one or two new stories (or revise earlier stories into their longer projects) and then workshop those stories with a small number of classmates. Early in the semester, we both spend as much time responding to the workshop responses as we do to the stories our students have written. And in our own responses to students, we strive both to provide our writers with feedback on their work and to model best practices for peer responses. For example, with some reviews Lori will assume the stance of a connector and questioner, answer the questions the writer asked of their workshop partners, or connect her suggestions to the craft and style readings the students have completed. iVlarshall uses a similar model of affirmations and suggestions for development, making connections to craft readings and pointing out similarities with model readings. One of his responses to a fall 2019 student unpacks many of these elements:

Good work getting this posted. What I’m looking for in particular with this forum is the degree to which you are building on storytelling and sensory details by incorporating some of those craft skills from the readings on settings and characterization: developing the sense of people and places as fully fleshed out, three-dimensional characters and locations, as well as the storytelling structure. I’m looking to see who the characters are in this piece and how well you’ve described them and captured their sense of personality, and for your story’s settings, I’m looking for descriptive details about your environment as well as the ways that you establish a sense of place in the sense that Dorothy Allison was describing: the larger cultural and social sense of the neighborhood or city or region and what it reflects in the cultural imagination.

If you were to revise, you might develop other characters more fully within the narrative structure. Provide some more nuanced physical descriptions, maybe some bits of dialogue, background details, or mannerisms.

In terms of setting, think about both sensory details about the setting where this takes place, as well as the geographical setting. You might develop the cultural context. Look back at Dorothy Allison and David Hood for tips about setting. Think about the way that Lance Arthur creates a psychological profile of suburban Bakersfield, CA in the 1970s.

Finally, pay careful attention to the feedback you get from your classmates (not that you should necessarily follow all the advice you get), and review the craft articles on characterization and setting, beginnings and endings, and dialogue to get some ideas about revision possibilities if you decide to revise this story into a longer work.

One additional way we demonstrate our respect for the feedback our students provide is by pointing out when a classmate has made an especially astute observation about a work or echoing, in our own reviews, the recommendations our students provided to the writer.

Online workshop assessment

Given the amount of writing students do in their online workshops (an average of 2,500 words per student, per week), we have had to develop strategies for dealing with a staggering amount of text to read, respond to, and assess. One simple strategy is to avoid false precision in our evaluations. Rather than parse whether a response is, for example, a В or a B-, we provide more holistic grades for the workshops. This gives us time to focus more on providing feedback to our students’ stories and workshop responses. For example, Lori uses the following three-point scale:

  • • Exceeds Expectations: All replies are robustly developed and meet (or exceed) the word (or question) count; address the author/work directly; push the author to think more deeply about their writing by responding as a complimenter, connector, contributor, or questioner to develop an engaged, thorough, and constructive response.
  • • iMeets Expectations: All required replies are adequately developed and meet (or exceed) the word (or question) count; address the author/work directly; push the author to think more intentionally about their writing by responding as a complimenter, connector, contributor, or questioner to develop an engaged and constructive response.
  • • Does Not Meet Expectations: An underdeveloped (under the required word or question limit) response; may be missing one of the required responses; may duplicate elements of a response another classmate has already posted; or does not push the author to think deeply about their writing.

In our comments to students, we use language from the rubric to identify where they produced a successful or unsuccessful response. Marshall will praise students for writing effective responses at the beginning of the semester, for example, by pointing out when their responses to this workshop maintain a positive tone, have compassionate affirmations and personal connections, and ask some good questions. Keep that up. Work on asking probing and clarifying questions and providing suggestions for further development. You might look back at the guidelines and rubric for ideas on developing those suggestions more fully. One tip I have for everyone as we move forward is to make more connections to the craft readings and the model essays in your feedback when you’re giving suggestions for specific improvements. Good start here—I’m sure you’ll see your feedback getting stronger as we progress.

In the face-to-face classroom, students receive more immediate feedback on their responses to other writers. In addition to hearing the writers respond with thanks and an echo back of the helpful critiques they received, in the physical spaces we occupy with students, students can read their classmates’ facial expressions and body language. Because this kind of positive affirmation of their critique is absent in the online space, our feedback and assessment of their workshop responses must provide students with both specific praise for their responses and detailed suggestions for improvement.


While it is challenging to build community and generate trust between students in the online classroom, after years of trial and error we have both come to prefer teaching our creative nonfiction classes online. When given the time to develop their responses to their classmates’ texts, and when provided with clear directions for and individualized feedback on their responses, we find that our online students engage more—and more deliberately, thoughtfully, and thoroughly—with both their classmates’ work and with one another.

We opened this chapter with Becky’s reflection on her initial trepidation sharing her personal creative work with her classmates, so it seems fitting to close with another of our student’s reflections on the role her online classmates played in her development as a writer. In her final class acknowledgments, “Ellen” recognized both her classmates and the online classroom conditions that contributed to her experience with the class and her growth as a writer:

This was one of my craziest semesters here at Oakland. However, this class was a safe place for me to temporarily forget everything else that was going on around me and really reflect and get creative with the life events that I’ve experienced. The advice I received from both my classmates and the professor were more than helpful, they were motivational. In the sense that they pushed me to think more outside of what I was comfortable writing and really master the skill of writing in a way that would inspire or change the mindset of my readers. 1 wouldn’t say just one or two people were especially encouraging, but there were some strategies that really helped me to take advice more gratefully. When my peers explained what they liked most about my story first, it really made me feel that they had actually read my work. Then following with some constructive criticism, in a respectful way, made me feel that they weren’t just pointing out what was wrong with it, but what I could improve on as a writer .... I have had such a fun time learning more about writing in regards to creative non-fiction and also getting the experience of reading others’ works. I’m proud of, not only myself, but everyone else in this online class for pushing themselves and always improving.

(Ellen, online student, winter 2019)


  • 1 This study has been approved by the Oakland University IRB (#1540187) and uses an archive of existing student work from the authors’ online creative nonfiction classes.
  • 2 All student names used in this chapter are pseudonyms.

Works cited

Allison, Dorothy. “Place.” The Writer’s Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House. Tin House Books, 2013, pp. 5-16.

Arthur, Lance. “My Stupid Childhood.” The Fray, 2000. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Beck, Heather. “Teaching Creative Writing Online.” New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, vol. 1, 2004, pp. 2.3-36.

Dixon, Helen, and Eleanor Hawe. “Creating the Climate and Space for Peer Review within the Writing Classroom.” Journal of Response to Writing, vol. 3, no. 1, 2017, pp. 6-30.

Freiman, Marcelle. “Learning through Dialogue: Teaching and Assessing Creative Writing Online.” Text, vol. 6, no. 2, 2002. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Girardi, Tamara. “Lost in Cyberspace: Addressing Issues of Student Engagement in the Online Classroom Community,” Applied Pedagogies: Strategies for Online Writing Instruction, edited by Daniel Ruefman and Abigail G.Scheg. UtahState University Press, 2016, pp. 59-74.

Hood, Dave. “Creative Nonfiction: Writing About Place.” Find Your Creative Muse: Learn to Write Poetry, Fiction, Personal Essays and More, 2012. davehood59.word- Accessed 1.5 June 2020.

Mulder, Raoul A., Jon M. Pearce, and Chi Baik. “Peer Review in Higher Education: Student Perceptions Before and After Participation.” Active Learning in Higher Education, vol. 15, no. 2, 2014, pp. 157-171.

Rein, Joseph. “Lost in Digital Translation: Navigating the Online Creative Writing Workshop.” Creative Writing in the Digital Age: Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy, edited by Michael Dean Clark, Trent Hergenrader, and Joseph Rein. Bloomsbury, 2015, pp. 91-104.

Stukenberg, Jill. “Deep Habits: Workshop as Critique in Creative Writing.” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, vol. 16, no. 3, 2017, pp. 277-292.

Appendix A: Course bibliography

What is creative nonfiction?

Craft readings

Gutkind, Lee. “What Is Creative Nonfiction?” Creative Nonfiction, www.creativenonfic online-reading/what-creative-nonfiction. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Moore, Dinty. “A Genre by Any Other Name? The Story Behind ‘Creative Nonfiction.’” Creative Nonfiction, Summer 2015. genre-any- other-name. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Snow, Shane. “Why Storytelling Will be the Biggest Business Skill of the Next Five Years.” Contently, 3 February 2014. this-will-be-the-top- business-skill-of-the-next-5-years/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

UVM Writing Center. “Creative Nonfiction.” nonfiction.html. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Wallace, David Foster. “English 183D Syllabus.” Salon, 11 November 2014. test2/2014/ll/10/david_foster_wa!laces_mind_blowing_creative_nonfiction_syllabus_this_ does_not_mean_an_essayist%25E2%2580%2599s_goal_is_to_share_or_express_herself_ or_whatever_feel_good_term_you_got_taught_in_h/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Model readings

Arthur, Lance. “My Stupid Childhood.” The Fray, May 2000. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Daily, Ryan C. “Candy Thief.” River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, 25 July 2016. Accessedl5 June 2020.

Horyn, Cathy. “Snooki’s Time.” The New York Times, 23 June 2010. www.nytimes. com/2010/07/25/fashion/25Snooki.html. Accessedl5 June 2020.

Norquist, Richard. ‘TOO Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction.” Thoughtco, 19 November 2018. 1688768. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Porterfield, Kay Marie. “Second Breakfast.” Hippocampus Magazine, 1 January 2016. field/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Rice, Jeff. “A Table Essay.” Medium, 5 May 2019. essay- a7093b0bfd3d. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Twombly, Sarah. “The Strongest Cookie.” Hippocampus Magazine, 1 December 2016. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Washington, Glynn. “The Tribe.” Snap Judgment, 21 February 2014. 02/21/ 280696431/the-tribe. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Writing processes

Craft readings

Biederman, Roseann. “The Writing Process: Step One.” Writer’s Digest, 29 February 2012. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Lamott, Anne. “Shitty First Drafts.” Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor, 1994, pp. 21-27.

Miller, Brenda and Suzanne Paola. “The Body of Memory.” Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creatine Nonfiction. 3rd ed., McGraw Hill, 2019, pp. 3-22.

Moore, Dinty. “The Personal (Not Private) Essay.” Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Non-Fiction (Kindle Locations 187-193). F+W Media. Kindle Edition.

National Council of Teachers of English. NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing. February 2016. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Raisin, Ross. “7 Methods for Writing Your First Draft.” Literary Hub, 1 May 2018. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Sitko, Barbara. “Knowing How to Write: Metacognition and Writing Instruction.” Metacognition in Educational Theory and Practice, edited by D. J. Hacker, J. Dun- losky, & A. C. Graesser, Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998, pp. 93—115.

Wright, Zach. “A Handy Strategy for Teaching Theme.” Edutopia, 25 February 2020. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Beginnings and endings

Craft readings

Bloch, Hanna. “A Good Lead Is Everything.” NPR, 12 October 2016. 2016/10/12/leads-are-hard-heres-how-to-write-a-good-one/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Hood, Dave. “Writing Creative Nonfiction: Beginning and Ending.” Find Your Creative Muse, 16 August 2012. fiction-beginning-and-ending/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Rogers, Tony. “How to Write Great Ledes for Feature Stories.” Thoughtco., 22 February 2019. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Rogers, Tony. “How Feature Writers Use Delayed Leads.” Thoughtco., 22 February 2019, Accessed 15 June 2020.

Model readings

Chambers, Jennifer. “Refuges Find Detroit a ‘Paradise,’ Hope More Syrians Gome.” The Detroit News, 21 September 2015. 2015/09/21/refugees-find-detroit-paradise-hope-syrians/72602340/. Accessed 15 June 2020. McCrummen, Stephanie. “An American Void.” The Washington Post, 12 September 2015. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Setting and characterization

Craft readings

Allison, Dorothy. “Place.” The Writer’s Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House. Tin House Books, 2009, pp. 5-16.

Corriveau, Erin. “Separating the Person from the Persona: Details and Distance in Creative Nonfiction - An Interview with Kim Dana Kupperman.” Causeway Lit/ Mason’s Road, Issue 5. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Hood, Dave. “Creative Nonfiction: Writing about Place.” Find Your Creative Muse, 17 March 2010. davehood59.wordpress.coni/2010/03/17/how-to-write-creative-nonfiction- writing-about-place/.Accessed 15 June 2020.

Hood, Dave. “Creative Nonfiction: Writing about Place, Part 2.” Find Your Creative Muse, 23 April 2012. about-place/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Roorbach, Bill and Kristen Keckler. “Crafting True to Life Nonfiction Characters.” Writer’s Digest, May/June 2009. to-life- nonfiction-characters. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Model readings

Bellanti, Courtney. “Meeting the Folks.” Moth Radio Fiour, 23 September 2010, the- stories/meeting-the-folks. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Buntin, Julie. “She’s Still Dying on Facebook.” The Atlantic, 6 July 2014, www.theatla technology/archive/2014/07/shes-still-dying-on-facebook/373904/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Montano, Armando. “The Unexpected Lessons of Mexican Food.” Salon, 18 March 2012, Accessed 15 June 2020.

Preston, Douglas. “My Search for a Boyhood Friend Led to a Dark Discovery.” Wired, 22 April 2019, . Accessed 15 June 2020.

Romig, Rollo. “When You’ve Had Detroit.” The New Yorker, 17 June 2014, www. Accessed 15 June 2020.


Craft readings

Hood, Dave. “Dialogue and Action.” Find Your Creative Muse, 18 March 2010, dave- Ю/ОЗ/18/how-to-write-creative-nonfiction-dialogue-and-action/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Luke, Pearl. “Space and Punctuate Dialogue Correctly: Creative Writing Success Tips.” Be a Better Writer, Accessed 15 June 2020.

Weihardt, Ginny. “How to Punctuate Dialogue in Fiction Writing.” The Balance Careers, 28 May 2019, in-fiedon-writing-1277721. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Model readings

Cronkite, Sue Riddle. “Blood Kin.” The Bitter Southerner, n.d., folklore-project/blood-kin-apalachicola-florida. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Dietrich, Sean. “A FEiYIA Trailer for Mother.” The Bitter Southerner, n.d., bitter- southerner. com/ folklore-project/a-fema-trailer-for-mother/. Accessed 15 June 2020. Gil, Sean. “A Temporary Shelf Life.” Hippocampus Magazine, 1 September 2015, www. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Travel writing

Craft readings

Bowes, Gemma. “Tips for Travel Writing.” The Guardian, 23 September 2011, hwww. l/sep/23/travel-writing-tips-expert-advice. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Fox, Dave. “Travel Writing Tips for Beginners: Get Specific.” Globe jotting, 29 July 2012, Accessed 15 June 2020.

Fox, Dave. “Travel Writing Tips for Beginners: How to Structure Your Travel Tales.” Globe jotting, 31 July 2012, beginners-beginnings-middles-and-endings/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Fox, Dave. “Travel Writing Tips for Beginners: Putting the Final Sparkle in Your Story.” Globe jotting, 2 August 2012, beginners-putting-the-final-sparkle-in-your-stories/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Model readings

Garlisle, John. “At U.P.’s. Only Strip Club, Hunters are Big Business.” Detroit Free Press, 25 November 2015. 1 l/25/hunting-season-at-upper-peninsula-strip-club/76114570/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Randall, Laura. “In Los Angeles, Sriracha Fans Line Up for the Hottest Tour in Town.” The Washington Post, 7 June 2018. in-los- angeles-sriracha-fans-!ine-up-for-the-hottest-tour-in-town/2018/06/06/c4el8dd2-64ff- Ile8-99d2-0d678ec08c2f_story.html. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Sedaris, David. “Santa Barbara.” Conde Nast Traveller, September 2014. www.cntra gallery/david-sedaris-guide-santa-barbara. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Smith, Brian. “Tucson Salvage: A Wandering Escape.” Tucson Weekly, 19 May 2016. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Sullivan, John Jeremiah. “Upon this Rock.” Gentlemen’s Quarterly, 25 January 2004. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Sullivan, John Jeremiah. “You Blow My Mind. Hey, Mickey! A Rough Guide to Disney World.” The New York Times Magazine, 12 June 2011. 12/magazine/ a-rough-guide-to-disney-world.html. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Tower, Wells. “The Old Man at Burning Man.” Gentleman’s Quarterly, February 2013, Accessed 15 June 2020.

Wallace, David Foster. “Stepping Out: On the (Nearly Lethal) Comforts of a Luxury Cruise.” Harper’s Magazine, September 2008. 2008/ 09/HarpersMagazine-1996-1901-0007859.pdf. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Wallace, David Foster. “Ticket to the Fair: Getting Away front Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All.” Harper’s Magazine, July 1994. uploads/ HarpersMagazine-1994-1907-0001729.pdf. Accessed 15 June 2020.


Craft readings

Hong, Binh and Susan Ager. “Hearts and Guts: Writing the Personal Profile.” The Poynter Institute, 22 August 2002. hearts-and-guts- writing-the-personal-profile/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

“How to Write a Profile Feature Article.” The New York Times Learning Network, 2 July 2019. web.archive.Org/web/20190717103021/https://archive. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Model readings

Orlean, Susan. “The American Man at Age 10.” Esquire, December 1992. classic.esquire. com/ article/19921201100/print. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Ross, Lillian. “How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen: The Moods of Ernest Hemingway.” The New Yorker, 6 May 1950. www.newyorker.coni/magazine/1950/05/13/ how-do-you-like-it-now-gentlemen. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Saslow, Eli. “‘How’s Amanda?’ A Story of Truth, Lies and an American Addiction.” The Washington Post, 23 July 2016. hows-amanda-a- story-of-truth-lies-and-an-american-addiction/2016/07/23/7be9ee40-43fa8-lle6-a66f- aa6cl883b6bl_story.html. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Singh, Perpreet. “Choking Out the Natives.” The Bitter Southerner, n.d., bittersouther- folklore-project/choking-out-the-natives/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Telese, Gay. “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold.” Esquire, April 1966, article/ 1966/4/1/frank-sinatra-has-a-cold. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Wang, Frances Kai-Hwa. “Carrying our Courage, From Immigrant Stories to Refugee Stories.” NBC News, 24 November 2015. essay-carrying-our-courage-immigrant-stories-refugee-stories-n467611.

Life during the pandemic

Craft readings

Proulx, Natalie. “12 Ideas for Writing through the Pandemic with The New York Times.” The New York Times, 15 April 2020. 12-ideas-for- writing-through-the-pandemic-with-the-new-york-times.html. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Model readings

Collins, Laura. “Missed Calls: Reinventing Grief in an Era of Enforced Isolation.” New Yorker, 11 May 2020. www.newyorker.coni/magazine/2020/05/ll/ reinventing-grief-in- an-era-of-enforced-isolation. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Coppins, McKay. “I Just Flew. It was Worse than I Thought It Would Be.” The Atlantic, May 2020. www.theatlantic.coni/politics/archive/2020/05/is-flying-safe-coronavirus/ 611335/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Kurlyandchik, Mark. “I Got an Early Glimpse of the Future of Dining.” Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2020. 2020/05/26/ got-early-glimpse-future-dining-heres-what-looks-like/5250024002/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Martins, Kristin F. “Running Out of Outlets.” Wordpress, 21 April 2020. kris- Accessed 15 June 2020.

Purdum, Todd. “Stuck at Home with my 20-Year-Old Daughter.” The Atlantic, May 2020. www.theatlantic.coni/politics/archive/2020/05/college-students-home-coronavirus/ 611665/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

Sizemore, Tony (as told to Eli Saslow). “Anything Good I Could Say about This Would Be a Lie.” The Washington Post, 28 March 2020. www.washingtonpost.eom/nation/2020/03/28/ voices-from-the-pandemic-indiana-man-recounts-partners-death-from-coronavirus/. Accessed 15 June 2020.

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