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CNF 03 W — Creative Nonfiction, Book III: Turning Manuscripts into the Gift of Story

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 26—Sep 1
Drop Deadline: Jul 4
Units: 3
Tuition: $850
Instructor(s): Otis Haschemeyer
Limit: 17
Jun 26—Sep 1
10 weeks
Drop By
Jul 4
3 Units
Otis Haschemeyer
Every book is self-help. Every book is a love story. Every book is about coming of age. Every book makes a promise that it is a story waiting to unfold. In stories we welcome readers into a world and take them on a journey of discovery. Maybe you have a chapter or two of your creative nonfiction book started. Maybe you’re much further along and are looking at that most difficult step, the final revision, turning your book into a compelling compact between author and audience.

In this course, we will consider the issues of world building, as well as the creation of an inviting and authentically “vulnerable” voice, one that allows the reader to identify and participate in the journey of story. We’ll also look at the necessity of escalating and deepening the“duration of struggle” in the middle to prepare for the story’s culmination. Finally, we will look at strategies to deliver on the story’s promise, the key to readerly satisfaction.

The second section of the course will feature intensive workshopping of longer sections of work, as well as a look at the book proposal process. The purpose of our stories is to facilitate change and growth, for our characters, for our readers, and for ourselves—to take us all from one state to another. The outcome? We’ll never look at the world the same way again.

Although the time commitment for an online writing course is dependent upon one’s degree of participation, students should plan on investing four to six hours per week in order to gain substantial benefit from the course.

This is the third “book” of the three-quarter sequence “The Creative Nonfiction Book,” providing invaluable instruction and a supportive community for those who want to write a book of creative nonfiction. Creative nonfiction is a fast-growing genre that includes memoir, essays, biography, and writing on such topics as art, science, and history. In the Winter, students explored creating a plan for success. In the Spring, students expanded on the initial idea. In the Summer, students will focus on building a world and creating an inviting voice for their book. While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.

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 creative nonfiction, fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in Best New American Voices 2009, 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.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Michael Larsen, How to Write a Book Proposal, 4th Edition (ISBN 0971862834)