Natalie Mesnard

Natalie teaches introductory (100-200 level) and advanced (300-400 level) college writing courses. These include:

  • Business & Technical Writing
  • Creative Composition
  • Writing & Research
  • Environmental Writing
  • Fiction Writing Tutorial
  • Introduction to Literary Editing
  • Introductory Narrative Writing
  • Persuasive Writing

She has appeared on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent every semester since the beginning of her academic teaching career in Fall 2011. She was awarded the University of Illinois Department of English Undergraduate Teaching Award for Specialized Faculty in Fall 2015.

Click here to explore a sample academic course designed for the University of Illinois. 

Natalie also develops academic courses and teaches online. She created an asynchronous online Environmental Writing course (ESE 360) for the University of Illinois School of Earth, Society, and the Environment, and developed syllabi, readings and learning objectives for the University of Illinois Department of Creative Writing Composition II course, Creative Composition (CW 243).


Natalie created and served as the director for the Illini Summer Academy in Creative Writing at the University of Illinois during the summers of 2013, 2014, and 2015. High school-age students stay in University of Illinois dorms and attend creative writing courses taught by graduate students.

Example ISA course materials:


Students imagine a character and a setting. Instructors scramble worksheets, assigning each student to write a story using a randomly pulled worksheet from each category.


Students read Marcus Wicker's poem "Love Letter to RuPaul" and write their own unexpected love letters.


Students visit a campus location and record conversations they hear around them. Later, they must compose a fictional scene including one or more of these conversations.

Pictured, students perform readings of collaboratively composed poems. Each work is drafted using an associative word map students generate from a randomly assigned physical object serving as the seed for imagining connections. These students began with a can of beans; the title of the poem is "Don't Worry, I'm Insured"!


Natalie leads community continuing education writing courses. She developed curricula for and taught weekly community-based courses on fiction writing for non-traditional students with the Champaign Park District in Champaign, Illinois.

Please contact Natalie if you are interested in setting up a community writing program in your area.