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CNF 66 W — Creative Nonfiction Book: Dynamic Scene, Dynamic Summary

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
Drop Deadline: Jun 27
Units: 3
Tuition: $895
Instructor(s): Otis Haschemeyer
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is June 27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Summer
Date(s)
Jun 24—Aug 30
10 weeks
Drop By
Jun 27
3 Units
Fees
$895
Instructor(s):
Otis Haschemeyer
Limit
17
Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is June 27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
The movement from scene to summary, action to reflection, is the very heartbeat of great creative nonfiction. Scenes, the building blocks, involve readers physically—making them feel, smell, and see the story. Summary, however, is equally important, giving us access to the meaning of the story. In scene, we witness the how. In summary, we discover the why. Together they can propel the reader toward a satisfying and even life-changing resolution.

Suitable for writers at all points in a book project, this course is designed to explore and hone the transitions between scene and summary, allowing us to write with texture and rhythm. We will begin with scenes by training ourselves to unearth the dramatic tensions between characters, focusing on their internal motivations as they move from one emotional state to another. Next, we will shift our attention to effective summaries, the more abstracted transitions that “raise the stakes” for the next action by elevating the reader to a place of greater intellectual and emotional understanding. Our third area of focus will be the transitions between scene and summary and how—if we transition wisely—we will lead the reader on a consequential, emotional journey. Course readings will include excerpts from works by Sebastian Junger, Cheryl Strayed, James Baldwin, and Alice Munro, among others. Weekly writing assignments will illustrate course concepts and will culminate in a longer scene/summary piece to be submitted for workshop.

Otis Haschemeyer, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Otis Haschemeyer received a 2015 Oregon Literary Fellowship, the Richard J. Margolis Award in nonfiction, and the 2007 Missouri Review Editors’ Prize. His writing has appeared in Best New American Voices, The Sun, The Rumpus, Barrow Street, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The American Alpine Journal, among others. He received a PhD from the University of Tennessee and is working on a book series.
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)