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Course Description

We all have a story to tell: your story might be the tale of how two young lovers tragically parted ways, or it might be the narrative of how your family first came to live in Canada. Ordinary – or extraordinary – it is time to learn how to discover, and tell, the story of your life.

Join this intensive writing workshop in which you will consider the various forms of creative nonfiction: memoir and life-writing, the personal essay and the lyric essay. An experienced writer will help you unearth the story you most need and want to tell. In this class you will also consider some of the ethical issues of writing from life: for example, how does a writer respectfully approach the telling of another individual’s story? As a group we will consider the particular challenges of shaping a story from life material: what to keep in, what to leave out and what we can embellish or change. Together we will read published examples of creative nonfiction and you will also create and workshop your own writing.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Read and respond to a variety of readings from published authors in the non-fiction genre examining some of its forms including short memoirs, humour, personal, lyric, and braided essays.
  • Identify the implicit challenges in writing true stories and the ethics of creative nonfiction
  • Apply various techniques and styles to frame a story
  • Use interviews to develop your story
  • Determine the difference between truth and fact
  • Appropriately choose what to reveal and what to avoid when writing about the lives of real people
  • Identify print and online publications for submitting creative nonfiction writing
  • Give and receive effective writing feedback
  • Expand your writing portfolio

Job Market Overview


Additional Requirements

There are no prerequisites for this course. You may take this as an individual course or choose to complete the Creative Writing Certificate.


Assessment Item Weight
Workshop Discussion & Participation 30%
Essay, First Draft 30%
Essay, Second Draft 30%
Flash Non-Fiction 10%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partner

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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