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Our Undergraduate Courses

The Nonfiction Writing Program is home to the University of Iowa’s Creative Writing Craft Courses, which have been singled out by for making the University of Iowa the best place to study undergraduate creative writing.

In these courses you’ll learn how to describe people, places, objects, and ideas in clear and concise language, while exploring how to organize information, imagine different points of view, and reflect upon and judge your own writing.

All of our courses are open to everyone.

Introduction to Creative Nonfiction*
(an introduction to personal writing)

The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction
(a survey of different forms of nonfiction writing)

The Art and Craft of Personal Writing
(writing about memories, ideas, & experiences in the service of great stories)

The Art and Craft of Writing about Food
(writing about food to evoke memories, moods, places & events)

The Art and Craft of Writing about Culture
(writing about film, tv, concerts, theater, magazines, etc)

The Art and Craft of Writing about Science  
(writing about complex scientific ideas in compelling stories)

The Art and Craft of Writing about the Environment
(writing about both natural and artificial environments)

The Art and Craft: Writing for Social Change
(writing about social, political, and cultural issues in ways that matter)

The Art and Craft of Writing for New Media
(writing podcasts, video games, Twitter feeds, and Tumblr narratives)

The Art and Craft of Writing about Sports
(creating vivid scenes, descriptions, and stories about athletic events)

The Art and Craft of Humor Writing
(using humor to explore the uncomfortable, the complex, the unknown & familiar)

The Art and Craft of Writing Across Genres
(using fiction, comedy, lists, letters, poems, graphics and other forms)

The Art and Craft of Writing with Emotion
(writing with all your senses)

The Art and Craft of the Literary Essay
(exploring reviews, memoirs, profiles, travelogues, journalism, and cultural criticism)

The Art and Craft of Immersion Journalism
(how to investigate and write about a large subject outside of yourself)

The Art and Craft of Writing about Business
(preparing for the “real world” of business)

The Essay Prize
(help judge and select the winner of a national literary prize)

Issues in Creative Nonfiction
(explore and discuss a single topic in creative nonfiction)

Advanced Nonfiction
(an advanced creative writing workshop)

Personal Writing
(a workshop devoted to explorations of memoir)

Multimedia Writing
(a multidisciplinary course mixing media production with creative writing)

Film and Writing
(how to convert texts into film, conduct interviews, and shoot and edit digital video)

Graphic Writing
(writing and producing the graphic novel)

Radio and Writing
(produce voiceovers, record interviews, mix music, edit sound and create spoken texts to make radio art)

Undergraduate Essay Workshop
(an intensive writing workshop taught at the pace of a graduate course)


Individual course descriptions are available on MyUI under the initials “CNW.”

* Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Creative Writing Studio Workshop (CNW:1620) satisfies General Education requirements.

All other Art & Craft courses with the CNW designation may be taken as an elective, applied towards the English major, or towards the English Department's Undergraduate Creative Writing Track

To receive updates about future Art & Craft course offerings, special events in The Nonfiction Writing Program, summer internships in creative writing, and the annual Saturday Afternoon Creative Writing Master Classes, send an email to Cherie Hansen-Rieskamp and ask to be placed on the Art & Craft listserv.