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CNF 80 — The Foundations of Creative Nonfiction

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Oct 13—Nov 17
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 15
Unit: 1
Tuition: $480
Instructor(s): Amy Ettinger
Limit: 21
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Closed
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Oct 13—Nov 17
6 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 15
1 Unit
Amy Ettinger
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
What does it mean to be creative within the realm of nonfiction? How can we tell unforgettable, factual stories without breaking both the rules of truth telling and family relationships?

During this course, we will read and discuss both classic and contemporary pieces of creative nonfiction, in order to learn many of the basic approaches and techniques that give personal writing shape and resonance. The reading list will include works by James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Patricia Lockwood, and Alexander Chee. We will discuss the secrets of powerful scenes, the rules regarding memory and dialogue, and how to develop your voice on the page. We’ll tap into the power of research and the art of the interview to add heft and life to your true stories. By the end of the course, you will not only have a general understanding of what creative nonfiction is, but also you will be on your way to creating vivid and meaningful personal essays and memoirs of your own.

Author; Journalist; Essayist

Amy Ettinger is the author of Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America. She has appeared on All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here & Now, Forum, and The California Report. She has written for The New York Times, McSweeney’s, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, New York, and Time.

Textbooks for this course:

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