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CNF 93 — Personal Essay Workshop: Excavate Your Story

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Oct 12—Dec 7
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 14
Units: 2
Tuition: $660
Instructor(s): Rose Whitmore
Limit: 21
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 23
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Oct 12—Dec 7
8 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 14
2 Units
Rose Whitmore
Please Note: No class on November 23
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
We all have moments in our lives that are hot to the touch—moments we can’t forget and want to use in some creative form. But how do we start to parse out the story of our experience? How do we harness strong emotions on the page? Furthermore, what makes for immersive writing in nonfiction? In this course, we will explore strategies to capture and communicate the heat of the moment, make meaning out of the madness, and compel readers to turn the page. From the cultivation of character to the use of time and distance, we will examine ways other writers have created meaning and truth through captivating prose. By the end of this course, each writer will come away with an essay that conveys the singularity and story of their experience. We will read a wide variety of work by such writers as Jo Ann Beard, Sandra Cisneros, Sarah Broom, Jesmyn Ward, and Chang-Rae Lee, with an eye toward inspiration and discussion of literary techniques. During the first half of the course, weekly writing exercises will help cultivate your voice and style while generating ideas. During the second half, we will workshop our own personal essays (up to 5,000 words) through constructive, supportive feedback. The course is designed for writers of all levels.

Author; Former Jones Lecturer and Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Rose Whitmore’s writing has appeared in The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, The Sun, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and has received residencies and fellowships from the Hemingway House in Ketchum, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Hedgebrook. She has taught creative writing at Stanford and the University of New Hampshire, where she received an MFA in creative writing.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.