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CW 08 W — The Art and Craft of Literary Journalism

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Bee Sacks
Duration: 10 weeks
Format/Location: Flex Online
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
Class Recording Available: Yes
Tuition: $1000
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Unit(s): 3
   
Enrollment Limit: 19
  
Status: Open
 
Quarter: Summer
Unit(s): 3
Duration: 10 weeks
 
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
 
Format/Location: Flex Online
 
Tuition: $1000
 
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Instructor(s): Bee Sacks
 
Enrollment Limit: 19
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Open
 
Literary journalism is an umbrella term that encompasses the personal essay, certain types of investigative journalism, and some creative nonfiction. These forms are unified by a shared goal: to convey the truth of a nonfiction story beyond its most basic facts using storytelling techniques traditionally associated with fiction. In this course, you will read pieces of literary journalism that illustrate a range of reporting strategies and narrative styles, from classics of the form by such authors as James Baldwin and Truman Capote to works by contemporary writers like Jia Tolentino and Jen Percy. As a class, we will examine the relationship of these writers to their material and, when necessary, consider the tension of who tells which stories. The readings and writing exercises will enliven lessons on reporting practices, drafting techniques, and approaches to editing. We will also discuss how to pitch stories to publications. By the end of this course, you will have researched and developed your own 10- to 20-page piece of literary journalism—a profile, feature reporting, or something more essayistic. You will receive feedback both from the instructor and in the form of peer responses to each other’s work.

No previous journalism experience is required.

BEE SACKS
Author

Bee Sacks is the author of City of a Thousand Gates, which received the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for fiction in 2023, and The Lover, published in August 2023. They are the recipient of grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Commonwealth Club of California, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Vivian Gornick, The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative (ISBN 978-0374528584)