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CNF 271 W — The Art of Memoir

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 11—Mar 19
Drop Deadline: Jan 14
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Caroline Goodwin
Limit: 20
Status: Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Winter
Flex Online(About Formats)
Date(s)
Jan 11—Mar 19
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 14
3 Units
Fees
$910
Instructor(s):
Caroline Goodwin
Limit
20
Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
With the memoir form, writers have the opportunity to assemble patterns of meaning from personal experience, reflecting deeply on the past to bring a life, or many lives, into focus. While the best memoirs may read like novels or short stories, full of scenes, dialogue, characters, narrative tension, and atmosphere, the memoirist also bears the truth-telling responsibilities of the nonfiction writer. In this lively, hands-on course for writers of any level, students will begin to shape their own stories, experimenting in order to discover an individual style. Writing prompts and weekly small-group discussions will be aimed at developing your voice and uncovering your most compelling material. Readings will include Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje, Heating & Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly, and On Writing by Stephen King. We will write to a specific prompt every week, and students will receive feedback from the instructor and from their peers. Students can expect to complete the course with a community of supportive memoirists, at least five written memoir scenes, a clear understanding of the strengths of their stories, and a concrete plan for developing the project in the future.

Caroline Goodwin, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Caroline Goodwin's essay "A Widow's Guide to OKCupid" received second place in the 2019 Barry Lopez Nonfiction Contest at Cutthroat Journal. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, PRISM international, Puerto del Sol, and many other journals. She is the author of four poetry collections. From 2014 to 2016, she served as San Mateo County's first Poet Laureate. She received an MFA from the University of British Columbia.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Beth Ann Fennelly, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs (ISBN 978-0393356489)
(Required) Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (ISBN 978-1982159375)
(Required) Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family (ISBN 978-0679746690)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)