Elective Courses

MFA in Creative Nonfiction Elective Courses

All courses are three credits, unless otherwise indicated.

CNF 610. Internship 
In this course, students gain hands-on experience at a literary journal, magazine, newspaper, or publishing house, either on-site or online. They may also work one-on-one with a published writer, agent, or editor. Internships require a minimum of 45 contact hours.

CNF 611. Readings in Nonfiction
This course offers students greater literacy and depth of knowledge in the literature of fact. This course also engages students in a variety of approaches, methodologies, and major themes in nonfiction writing by studying influential scholarship on the subject as well as some of the most prominent writing about nonfiction craft. By the end of this course, students will gain skills to improve their own writing and sharpen their critical skills.

CNF 612. Editing & Revision in Nonfiction
This is a master class in learning prose styling. It provides students with immersion in the techniques of editing and polishing their work. They also will learn the foundations of sentence construction, clear expression, and other tools of craft.

CNF 614. Poetry & Nonfiction
This elective is a course in reading and writing poetry, and how those pursuits intersect with and influence the writing of nonfiction prose.

CNF 625. Research & Reporting
In this course, students learn skills to conduct in-depth research, interviews, and reporting under the supervision of a faculty mentor. They also will explore strategies for weaving data and other information into narrative. This course does not contain a writing component.

CNF 633. Book Proposal
In this elective, students build a book proposal under the one-on-one supervision of a literary agent or editor with publishing experience.

CNF 634. Book Proposal Intensive
This course is a brief but comprehensive introduction to designing and writing a book proposal. It teaches writers how to envision a book project with a readership in mind, apply structure widely accepted in the publishing industry to a project’s primary themes and ideas, and apply a series of steps to produce a plan for writing the full proposal.

CNF 635. Reported Memoir
Databases, documents, and other resources, and practices can enrich a memoir and verify the accuracy of a writer’s work. In this course, students conduct in-depth research and interviews under the supervision of an MFA faculty mentor or other writing professional. This elective teaches the skills to deepen personal writing through research; it does not contain a writing component.

CNF 640. Projects in Digital Narrative
The course allows students to increase their knowledge of storytelling while gaining proficiency in using what they learn in a variety of different platforms. In a workshop setting with a faculty mentor, they will learn how stories are constructed and created. They will also learn how the elements of narrative apply in writing, video, audio, and other forms.

CNF 645. Teaching Internship
Students gain teaching experience in one of Goucher's undergraduate creative nonfiction writing classes. This course contains both online and in-person options.

CNF 650. Fieldwork in Nonfiction
Students learn to work more independently and create a research and writing plan outside of the CNF program’s core course structure. Students will also submit a final written project that demonstrates mastery of a chosen focus of writing and research.  Unlike electives that focus solely on research, this course emphasizes writing. 


Alumni of the CNF program may take any of the above electives. New documentation must be completed and submitted to the program.