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Storytelling in Fiction and Nonfiction

ENGL 410.641
instructor(s):
Thursdays 5:30-8:20 pm

This workshop will focus on how to tell a good story—whether fiction or creative nonfiction. Students will identify stories they want to write, learn how to research subjects and settings, and tap into imagination to make a short story or personal essay come to life. We will explore the differences and requirements of both genres. In-class writing exercises and visualizations will jump start or enhance works-in-progress. Students will explore the importance of detail, humor, perspective, character, dialogue, and place in both fiction and nonfiction, while at the same time examining the substance of the story within a larger context. We will read selections from a range of versatile authors, including Jumpa Lahiri, Kaye Gibbons, Richard Wright, Audre Lorde, Alfred Kazin, Toni Morrison, Stephen King, John Edgar Wideman and Anne Lamott. Students will be asked to maintain daily writing journals, participate in and lead workshop discussions, contribute to peer review, and write and revise stories on a weekly basis.