Writing 100: Speculative Fictions

One goal of any composition course is to train students to consider rhetorical situation: one must write about the same subject differently for different audiences. In WRIT 100 (14): Speculative Fictions (Fall 2013), the chief mode is the formal persuasive essay, for whom the main audience is the professor. Near the end of this term, though, students experimented with travel writing, hearing, for example, from local Lonely Planet writer Amy Balfour. The subject of their own travel writing was fictional: the imaginative world of poet Jeannine Hall Gailey’s first collection, Becoming the Villainess.  All students constructed entries in the style of Diana Wynne Jones’ satirical travel book The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, engaging with the specific details of Gailey’s text but in an unusual genre for the classroom. From there, they had three writing options: a conventional essay analyzing Gailey’s poetry; an original fantastic tale paired with an analytical afterword; or a collaborative travel web site, Gaileyland: A Travel Guide to Becoming the Villianess, that incorporates entries produced for the full-class exercise.  This course was taught by Professor Lesley Wheeler.


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