Course Description

English 145.301 Advanced Nonfiction Writing: XFic

Jay Kirk

Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30

This advanced creative nonfiction workshop will serve as the launch of XFic, Penn’s newest online literary journal. XFic—a journal devoted to experimental nonfiction with a narrative bent—will allow student writers to earn course credit in English 145 and get published at the same time. While XFic will not consider memoir or fiction, it will welcome artifice, the performative, and the honorably pretentious. The course is open via permission of the instructor. Admittance to the course will be based on the strength of a “pitch” for a longform story idea. Your pitch (anywhere from a sentence or two to no more than a page) need not include any prior writing experience, but only why you feel the story you have in mind must be written… and why you are the writer who must write it. Each accepted story idea will then serve as the assigned piece each student works on over the semester. The class itself will take the form of a workshop/weekly editorial meeting, where we will subject our pieces to a battery of rigorous and boundary-defying tests. Students will be paired in an editor/writer relationship. This collaboration will require students to be responsible for helping advance not only their own story, but their assigned writer’s story as well. Editors will be credited alongside the writer in the inaugural issue of XFic. One student will be appointed managing editor. Enrollment is limited to ten students. Permission to enroll is required. Please submit a story pitch before November 8, 2018, to jaykirk@comcast.net.

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