Distinguished Visiting Writers Courses

2013 - 2014 Course

Sandra Beasley, Creative Nonfiction

Stranger Than Fiction: Creative Writing about the Sciences. This course will focus on contemporary nonfiction writing that incorporates the natural sciences—particularly medicine, chemistry, biology, and ecology. The best nonfiction writing honors sophisticated facts while employing the lyric sensibility of poetry, and the scene- and character-making of narrative. We will explore different ways a writer can be present as narrator, and how to process technical information for a layperson reader. We will also discuss the realities of writing about the sciences professionally, using a pace of writing and revision appropriate for publication in the real world.

Beasley will read her own poetry and prose on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Van Etten-Lacey House.

About the program

Each year we bring in distinguished writers to teach topic-based, upper-level creative writing courses. We alternate between fiction, poetry, journalism, creative non-fiction, and children's literature. While on campus, the writers also give public readings and/or lectures. Recent course examples include:

  • Jennifer Hemmingsen, "Watchdog Journalism
  • Pulitzer-Prize nominee Angie Estes, "Ekphrastic Writing" 
  • Michael Martone, "Writing the Rural" 
  • Children's writer Sarah Prineas, "The Protaganist Must Protag: a Development of Character and Action"