Skip to main content

SEMINAR : Playing with the Personal Essay: Exploring Creative Nonfiction's Many Forms

The essay has been with us for centuries and continues to offer an opportunity for writers at all levels to investigate personal experiences, the arts, the physical world, the larger world, and more—topics students will cover in this class. They also will read and discuss sample essays that embody the experiments they’ll be exploring in form. In addition, the course will cover:

•          Basic concepts about creative nonfiction and what’s creative about it.

•          Students’ process as writers, shortcuts to getting words on paper, and a   better understanding of revision methods.

•          What writerly techniques are most effective in this genre?

•          Why students’ personal stories are interesting to others and what makes them “universal”?

Students will write a total of three 1,000 word essays over the eight weeks. In addition, there will be in-class exercises and peer review sessions. To take this class, students will need to type their submissions, use email, and know how to use the Internet.

 Seminar Note: Limited to 25 participants selected by lottery on Thursday, December 5. First meeting (January 6) is required, as is regular attendance. Do not apply unless you can make this commitment.

Lily Iona Mackenzie

For over 30 years, Prof. MacKenzie taught rhetoric to USF freshmen. Now, with joy, she is working with adults closer to her in age. A poet and novelist, her reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir have appeared in over one hundred and sixty American and Canadian venues. Her poetry collection All This was published in 2011. Fling!, a novel that features older adults, was published in 2015. Curva Peligrosa, another novel, was released in 2017, and Freefall: A Divine Comedy, appeared in 2019. She also blogs at



Enrollment Closed
Mackenzie, Lily Iona
Meeting Time
Monday PM
Meeting Rooms
Broad Room
50 left of 50 max
Lessons Of Course