As non-fiction writers start finding shorter, faster assignments too restrictive, they are faced with the challenge of how to master more words--more reporting, more thinking, more writing (more re-writing)--and how to navigate the old and new media that enable and publish such writing. They also want to understand how longform pieces turn into nonfiction books.
This section of English 145 will focus on the reading, writing and publishing of magazine-style longform--which has always been the major challenge of the bricks and mortar magazine and book publishing businesses, and now represents the major challenge to the growing world of online publishing.
The course will be organized around readings from current and past magazines—through which we will also access historical examples of longform (which goes back much further than the “new journalism” of the sixties, and extends far beyond it.) You will learn to turn the subjects that interest you into real publishable story ideas by doing three shorter writing assignments to develop the specific magazine writer’s version of basic skills (character profiling, scene-setting, explanatory/how-to writing), and then writing one publishable magazine-style story. Regardless of whether you actually publish the story (there are no guarantees, even when you’re a veteran writer) you will learn how to pitch and execute publishable longform--and how the world of publishing works.
This class is taught from the perspective of a working longform writer and consultant for national magazines who also writes contemporary and historical narrative non-fiction books.
Please send a letter explaining your background and what you might want to write about in the class to firstname.lastname@example.org.