This course in creative writing focuses on the craft of reading and writing creative nonfiction. The course emphasizes an introduction to craft—how creative nonfiction is generated, what its elements are, and how finished pieces work—which students will explore through careful study of models by published writers, and through writing and revising their own short pieces.
This course is offered in Session F (July 6-July 23, 2021).
Movie reviews, TV reviews, food writing, book reviews, and many other forms of cultural criticism have a long history within the genre of creative nonfiction and remain a great way for aspiring writers to build a portfolio and break through to an audience. But writing them well requires a knowledge of the craft of the essay, and thinking about structure, story, audience, and themes. In this class, we'll read examples of essays from both contemporary culture writers like Vinson Cunningham, Anthony Lane, Emily Nussbaum, Soleil Ho, Samin Nosrat, Michelle Dean, and Hillary Mantel, as well as writters from earlier generations.
We'll use these readings in conversation with Jack Hart's book Storycraft as examples to help you build up three essays of your own on a film, TV series, food, graphic novel, podcast, TikTok, book, video game, or any other form of culture that sparks your interest. Craft talks and exercises as well as essay workshopping and learning to write queries to editors will also be part of our work.
This class will meet twice a week (TuTh) on Zoom and three times a week asynchronously online.