Creative non-fiction class prepares for open reading

Luis Martinez, Entertainment Editor

Students of an advanced creative nonfiction class will be performing some of their written work from in a public literary reading.

The reading is titled “The Ghost of the Writer’s Present” and will take place at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in 7th Street Underground.

The course is taught by Charlotte Pence, an assistant English professor, and will feature original works from students in the course.

McKenzie Dial, a graduate English student, will be one of the performers who will be giving a reading on Wednesday.

“The Ghost of The Writer’s Present is a creative nonfiction reading directed by Dr. Charlotte Pence’s Advance Creative Nonfiction course,” Dial said. “The reading will feature the work of John Brown, Andrew McCue, Hillary Fuller, Cayla Wagner, Ty Noel, Lisa Rhodes, and myself, all of whom are students enrolled in the course.”

Dial said the reading was created as a way to help showcase the talent of the student writers in the creative writing department.

“Throughout the semester, students improve their craft and develop longer works of creative nonfiction,” Dial said. “The end-of-the-semester reading is a way to display student work and give the writers an opportunity to engage with the broader EIU community.”

Cayla Wagner, a graduate history student and another student in the course, said the idea for the theme of the reading came from the popular Christmas play, “A Christmas Carol.”

“The Ghost of the Writer’s Present is the theme for Dr. Pence’s advanced nonfiction class, as a play on the Ghost of Christmas Past from ‘A Christmas Carol,’” Wagner said. Present is used instead of past because most of our readings are given from the ‘I’ perspective.”

Wagner said besides the holiday-themed name, the reading itself would not be holiday themed.

“Each semester, creative writing classes put on a class reading to the public to share the creative works written throughout the semester,” Wagner said. “It’s an act of celebration to celebrate the end of the semester and the works students have written. Plus, it’s just a nice way to unwind at the end of the year.”

Only seven students from the advanced creative nonfiction writing class will be allowed to give readings.

Each of the students will read one nonfiction story they wrote for class and they will have five minutes to perform their readings.

“It started in classroom workshops at the beginning of the semester,” Wagner said. “Students have had the chance to be critiqued by their peers and edit their work all semester long.”


Luis Martinez can be reached 581-2812 or [email protected]