In this workshop-style class we will focus first on the personal essay before moving on to the short story. Along the way, we will discuss the many differences between the writing of fiction and nonfiction — and we will also explore the relationships between the two genres. In particular, we will investigate how fiction writers “borrow” from the real to create imaginative worlds. In addition to writing and critiquing our own original essays and stories, we will read and discuss the work of contemporary writers. Students will practice “reading as writers,” learning to identify the specific literary devices that make an essay or story great. Several of the writers we’ll read will make guest appearances (in-person and via Skype) to discuss their work.