In a 2002 article in College English, Peter Elbow argued that writing pedagogy would benefit by “[m]ore honoring of style, playfulness, fun, pleasure, humor” (543). Although Elbow was referring specifically to the need for cross-fertilization between the disciplines of literature and composition, his call for attention to playfulness in writing pedagogy is equally relevant to the teaching of creative nonfiction. The question he fails to consider is how playfulness can become an essential part of writing pedagogy without undermining the seriousness of the endeavor. My experience teaching an upper-level creative nonfiction class devoted to humor writing suggests that while incorporating playfulness into nonfiction-writing pedagogy poses serious challenges, it also provides significant rewards and develops skills transferable to other writing tasks.

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