A Writer's Paradise

Summer 2020 (Full Session)
Evening and Weekend
Class Size: 20
Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

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Taught by

Nancy Koppelman
American studies
creative writing

 Fiction! Essays! Non-fiction! Creative non-fiction! Academic writing! Journalism! Poetry! Our schedule is summer-friendly for working adults and others. With support from faculty and peers, students will choose what they write about, and the ways they write about chosen subjects, from autobiography, to fiction, to essay, to poetry. 

Dive into any of these genres in this craft-intensive class. We'll have regular peer-support and critique groups, seminars on fiction and non-fiction, workshops to sharpen skills and generate ideas including engaging writing exercises, and extensive one-on-one time available with faculty. Deepen engagement with your own writing, build critical reading skills, and refine your editorial eyes and ears. We'll work with stories, essays, novels, and poems that allow us to study writing strategies. Students will be introduced to close, critical reading practices, and, in short, learn to read like writers.
Student writers will receive substantial faculty and peer feedback and support of their writing projects.

We will focus extensively on developing and nurturing our own creative processes, with a focus on nature. Using The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, by Florence Williams. Students can decide how to incorporate nature, or self-designed thorough alternatives such as originating and practicing art or music, into their creative processes. You may choose among long walks, gardening, backyard or local nature watching and journaling, or hikes. Faculty will be able to supply those in Washington State for the summer with Washington Trails Association information for available hikes. Should conditions permit, I will support students in organizing small-group hikes and activities for those in the Washington State area. We will engage in sensory writing activities to make our writing more evocative and engaging. Several of the nature-based activities are suitable for sharing with family members.

Weeknight sessions will include lectures, workshops, seminar, and guided critique group opportunities. Classroom work emphasizes the critique process, fine-tuning, generating work, close reading, and practices of literary study. We will have guest writers who read their work and offer workshops

This course will be conducted remotely, using easy-to-navigate Zoom and Canvas. Though remote, these classes provide a close-knit and supportive learning community. You will have extensive opportunities to "meet" with faculty one-on-one, and to meet with colleagues for writing encouragement and critique.

Should a student need to miss a remote session due to illness or other need, the student may make up content with consultation from faculty.

Our schedule is summer friendly to working adults, meeting regularly on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m. Many critique groups will meet either from 5 to 6 p.m., or 8 to 9 p.m., as well as other mutually agreed upon times. We will meet two Saturdays for three hours each session beginning at 10 a.m. These dates include July 11 and July 18 first session; and Aug. 8 and 22 second session. After our class meeting, students will have the remainder of the day for personal writing retreat, as well as Zoom sessions with faculty or peers.

This class will be helpful to new Evergreen students due to extensive one-on-one time with faculty and curricular activities, as well as provide a deepening of skills to continuing students. Please contact faculty, parkesn@evergreen.edu, immediately to further discuss this, or contact me through Zoom at the Academic Fair.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

Communications, Public Policy, Non-profit, Journalism, Advanced Undergraduate Studies, Graduate School, Writing, Literature, Natural History


Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

Variable Credit Options:

16- Full Session

8 - First Session

8 - Second Session

Online learning:
  • Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 20

Scheduled for: Evening and Weekend

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Monday, June 22, 2020 - 6:00 pm

Located in: Olympia