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CNF 16 W — Creative Nonfiction: Tools of the Trade

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Dec 9
Drop Deadline: Oct 4
Unit(s): 3 Units
Tuition: $850
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class the week of Thanksgiving
Sep 26—Dec 9
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 4
3 Units
Please Note: No class the week of Thanksgiving
Creative nonfiction has two fundamental goals: to gather the dynamic world into stories, and to illuminate and change the reader. In this course—suitable for writers of all levels—we will focus on both of these goals and, more importantly, the connection between the two. We will generate ideas and conduct research, even into our own lives, moving step by step through this particular creative process. We will develop characters who inspire a sympathetic resonance with our audience. We will also sharpen our “narrative intention”—the dynamic scenes, engaging summary, and necessary parenthetical material that create depth and raise the stakes. Finally, we will try our hand at different kinds of narration, from distant perspective to close point of view.

Above all, we will draw on the fundamental source of creative nonfiction’s power: the interplay between our interior world and the world that we share. Close examination of short selected readings and targeted exercises will focus on technique and the development of attentiveness and literary generosity.

Although the time commitment for this course is dependent upon one’s degree of participation, students should plan on investing four to six hours per week in order to participate at a substantial level.

Otis Haschemeyer, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Otis Haschemeyer received a 2015 Oregon Literary Fellowship, the Margolis Award in nonfiction, and the 2007 Missouri Review Editor’s 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) Edwidge Danticat and Robert Atwan, The Best American Essays 2011 (ISBN 978-0547479774)
(Required) Sherry Ellis, Now Write! Nonfiction: Memoir, Journalism and Creative Nonfiction Exercises from Today's Best Writers (ISBN 978-1585427581)