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EGL 70 — Reading as a Writer: A One-Week Intensive

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Monday - Friday
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 days
Date(s): Jun 28—Jul 2
Time: 11am-1:30pm; 2:30-5pm PT
Refund Deadline: Jun 21
Units: 2
Tuition: $605
Instructor(s): Jonah Willihnganz
Limit: 22
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: For the first class, please read: 1. Francine Prose, Reading Like A Writer: Chapter 1, “Close Reading” Chapter 2, “Words” 2. In Canvas, read the following two articles on craft, two essays, and two stories: Madison Smartt Bell, “Unconscious Mind” Catherine Brady, “Story Logic” Barry Lopez, “The Invitation” Alice Walker, “Am I Blue?” Peter Taylor, "A Wife of Nashville" (including Bell's notes)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Summer
Live Online(About Formats)
Monday - Friday
11am-1:30pm; 2:30-5pm PT
Date(s)
Jun 28—Jul 2
5 days
Refund Date
Jun 21
2 Units
Fees
$605
Instructor(s):
Jonah Willihnganz
Limit
22
Recording
No
Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: For the first class, please read: 1. Francine Prose, Reading Like A Writer: Chapter 1, “Close Reading” Chapter 2, “Words” 2. In Canvas, read the following two articles on craft, two essays, and two stories: Madison Smartt Bell, “Unconscious Mind” Catherine Brady, “Story Logic” Barry Lopez, “The Invitation” Alice Walker, “Am I Blue?” Peter Taylor, "A Wife of Nashville" (including Bell's notes)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
One of the best ways to become a skilled writer is to become a skilled reader. In this immersion seminar, you will learn to read in a way you were probably never taught in literature courses—not as a critic but as a craftsperson, an apprentice in the guild. You will learn how to X-ray any piece of writing from its design to its prose, so that you can make its strategies your own. Examining contemporary masters like Alice Munro, Joan Didion, and George Saunders, you will learn, for example, what makes a particular physical description effective, how to advance plot with dialogue, and how to subtly develop a piece’s insight. Since the aim of skilled reading is skilled writing, you will try out techniques in short exercises, but we will not critique manuscripts. We will discuss traditional and experimental approaches to fiction and creative nonfiction. And we will look at design elements (like plot, point of view, and image systems) and prose elements (patterns that help produce narrative voice, style, and tone). Other authors we will consider include James Baldwin, Ocean Vuong, Louise Erdrich, Ted Chiang, Leslie Jamison, Eula Biss, Pico Iyer, Cheryl Strayed, Colum McCann, Ha Jin, Tobias Wolff, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

JONAH WILLIHNGANZ
Director, Stanford Storytelling Project; Co-Founder, LifeWorks Program for Integrative Learning; Bruce Braden Lecturer in Narrative Studies, Stanford

Jonah Willihnganz has taught courses in writing and literature at Stanford since 2002. He has published fiction, essays, and literary criticism, and his research focuses on how stories and storytelling can heal the mind. He received an MFA in creative writing from Hollins University and a PhD in English from Brown.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer (ISBN 978-0060777050)
(Required) Alice LaPlante, Method and Madness: The Making of a Story (ISBN 0393928179)
(Required) Jack Hart, Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction (ISBN 0226318168)
(Recommended) Catherine Brady, Story Logic and the Craft of Fiction (ISBN 978-0230580558)
(Recommended) Maddison Smartt Bell, Narrative Design: Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form (ISBN 978-0393320213)
(Recommended) Patsy Sims, Literary Nonfiction: Learning by Example (ISBN 978-0195138443)