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Advanced Nonfiction Writing

ENGL 145.301
Wednesday 2:00-5:00

Creative nonfiction essays celebrate curiosity, prejudice, passion, and other idiosyncrasies of the human condition. They use reportage and the literary techniques of fiction in service of compelling real-life stories. In this workshop-style class, you will write and revise several longer essays and shorter sketches.

Aside from general guidance, the subject matter of your work is deliciously open and up to you. I am, however, available to help shape and steer and urge you away from the overly solipsistic. Take advantage of the city that surrounds you and places you've been; questions and answers you've stumbled across so far in life; what has surprised you, held you captive, set you free.

Through assignments, class exercises and readings, we will address technical issues such as narrative/thematic tension, transition, character development, dialogue, point of view, imagery, and metaphor, as well as the skills of interviewing and reporting. We will use your (and occasionally my) work as the bases for discussion. Since I am a full-time freelance writer, you will also be subjected to my wit and wisdom about the publishing world.

The core aim here is to get a group of student writers writing, and to have you stretch beyond what you know by grappling with the revision process and sharing work with the class. Class participation is vital and expected. Please send a brief writing sample and statement of interest to