ENG 340 – Introduction to Creative Writing – Travel Writing

  • Discipline(s): English

  • Credits: 3

  • Available: spring semester 2024, summer session two 2024

  • Instructor: Maureen McCue Ph.D.

  • Taught in: English

Course Description and Objectives

Italy has long occupied a central place in the collective imagination of the English-speaking world. From the medieval period to today, ‘The Land of the Arts’ has inspired authors to pen an array of literary and nonfictional texts, including poems, novels, essays, and travelogues. Through a range of reading assignments and writing prompts, this course introduces students to this rich inheritance of travel writing, while guiding them through their own writing process, from scribbling down notes to polishing their final submission. Along the way, students will learn to identify the key elements of compelling narrative nonfiction (such as voice, narrative structure, setting and the use of figurative language) and begin to develop these qualities in their own writing. Since travel writing must be factual as well as creative, students will also learn how to add nuance to their writing through research. Writing workshops will be a place to test out ideas and receive feedback from peers and the instructor. Further practical information for those wishing to take their travel writing forward to publication will be given. Although Italy will provide students with ample material for their writing assignments, the skills they will develop on this course will stay with them far beyond their time in Florence.

Upon completion of this course, students will

  • Have a working understanding of the genre of travel writing, both as writers and as readers;
  • Be able to identify key elements of narrative nonfiction (such as voice and narrative presence, narrative arc or structure, figurative language, dialogue, character, and setting) in the work of others and have begun to develop these elements in their own writing;
  • Become aware of the Anglo-phone tradition of travel writing about Italy, including some of its cliches and how to avoid them;
  • Have developed a personal writing practice, a knowledge of basic research skills, and have worked through the writing process from early draft to polished essay.

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