English 215: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction



Castles Burning



Idiot Wind

Town Cryer


Ultimately every writer must follow the path that feels most comfortable. For most people learning to write, that path is nonfiction. It enables them to write about what they know or can observe or find out. This is especially true of young people and students. They will write far more willingly about subjects that touch their own lives or that they have an aptitude for. Motivation is at the heart of writing. If nonfiction is where you do your best writing, or your best teaching of writing, don’t be buffaloed into the idea that it’s an inferior species. The only important distinction is between good writing and bad writingGood writing is good writing, whatever form it takes and whatever we call it.

—William Zinsser, On Writing Well—





Major Assignments 

Workshop Procedures

Workshop Guidelines 

Workshop Schedule 

Workshop Groups 


Electronic Reserve 

A Guide to Grammar and Style

How to Use an Apostrophe

What It Means When You Say Literally

The Three Most Common Uses of Irony

Ten Words You Need to Stop Misspelling

Penn State Center for Excellence in Writing

Punctuating Dialogue and Direct Quotations

The Golden Rule of Writing (according to Strunk and White)



(Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction)




Paul M. Kellermann   

Office:   224 South Allen Street
(Room 114, Cubicle A)

Mailbox: 136 Ritenour Building


E-mail:   pmk8@psu.edu 

Office hours:  Tuesday 1:00-2:00 @ Webster’s Bookstore Café
Wednesday 4:30-5:30 @ Kern Graduate Building
Thursday 10:00-11:00 @ 224 South Allen Street
and by appointment



Last updated 29 January 2014