Writer's Wkshp:Creat Non-Fict
I write to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see, and what it means. - Joan Didion. Our course will feature three prevalent categories of contemporary creative nonfiction: the profile - a staple of contemporary journalism and travel writing; the personal essay - a showcase for style and content; and the memoir - a vehicle of reflection which leads to understanding the long-lasting significance of people and events in our lives. Students will develop skills using the elements of creative nonfiction, such as narration, character development, detailed description, persona, voice, and researched material as we consider and critique one another's manuscripts. Also, as part of a pair or trio, each student will present salient features of a selection from our course reader. Published writers under consideration during the course may include Jo Ann Beard, W. S. Di Piero, Joan Didion, Brian Doyle, Lucy Grealy, Pico Iyer, August Kleinzahler, David Mas Masumoto, James Alan McPherson, Mary Oliver, Floyd Skloot, Rebecca Skloot, and A. E. Stallings. Additionally, we will discuss the sometimes complicated and sensitive decisions around portraying real people - how much the reader needs to know vs. a person's right to privacy, for example. These discussions will be a part of our Writer at Work segments, when each of us (at least once during the semester) talks about an ongoing project and its complexities. Finally, a guest speaker with an recent essay in the literary journal Creative Nonfiction will converse with us about moving an idea from its genesis through development to revision and publication.