Unit description

Introduces students to the study and practice of creative nonfiction. This unit will explore a range of texts including non-fiction novels, literary journalism, memoir, personal essays, travel/food writing and eco-critical writing. Students will engage with critical issues in the writing and reading of creative nonfiction and write their own creative nonfiction piece. Students will receive critical feedback integral to their writing practice and engage in reflection on their own work using analytical and interpretation skills.

Unit content

  1. Introduction: The art and craft of creative nonfiction (background and critical review information)
  2. Personal essays/memoir
  3. Literary journalism
  4. Travel/food writing
  5. Eco-critical writing/fictocriticism
  6. Nonfiction novels

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to:GA1GA2GA3GA4GA5GA6GA7
1demonstrate the ability to explore issues in creative nonfiction writingIntellectual rigourCreativity
2evaluate issues with reference to ethical principles in creative nonfiction writingIntellectual rigourEthical practice
3demonstrate proficiency in creative nonfiction writing. Creativity

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate the ability to explore issues in creative nonfiction writing
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA2: Creativity
  2. evaluate issues with reference to ethical principles in creative nonfiction writing
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA3: Ethical practice
  3. demonstrate proficiency in creative nonfiction writing.
    • GA2: Creativity

Prescribed texts

  • Gutkind, L, 2012, You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction – from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between, 1st edn, Da Capo Lifelong Books, Boston. ISBN: 978-0738215549.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hour (12 weeks)
Structured online learning 2 hours (12 weeks)
Biographical sketch20%
First draft creative writing30%
Final draft creative writing and Critical review50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
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Fee paying courses
For postgraduate or undergraduate full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


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