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CNF 07 — The Personal Presence: Memoirs, Articles, and Essays

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 13—Mar 17
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Jan 15
Units: 3
Tuition: $675
Instructor(s): Lynn Stegner
Limit: 22
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
Live Online(About Formats)
Wednesdays
6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Jan 13—Mar 17
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 15
3 Units
Fees
$675
Instructor(s):
Lynn Stegner
Limit
22
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.
No matter the subject of a memoir or essay—from short-order cooking in Omaha to opera appreciation in Vienna—the author’s personal presence not only heightens narrative credibility but also brings the experience to life for readers. This course will help students discover their own personal nonfiction voice, choose meaningful and dramatic material, sort and sift that material for composition, balance the objective with the subjective, maintain interpretive distance, and finally, understand how narrative can shape and illuminate their life stories. We will explore constructing a dramatic context for the often-flat or wandering line of actualities, as well as learn how to edit out insignificant details and content that distract from underlying themes—because even nonfiction narratives are orchestrated along a thematic axis. Readings will include work by Julian Barnes, Gretel Ehrlich, Anne Fadiman, David Quammen, Joan Didion, George Orwell, Calvin Trillin, John McPhee, and others as we progress through a series of practical lessons that will take our writing from start to finish. Moving through subject selection, early drafts, revision, and final edit, students will present essays or chapters from a memoir for roundtable discussion and critique.

This course will not be recorded.

Lynn Stegner, Author

Lynn Stegner is the author of four novels, including Because a Fire Was in My Head, a collection of stories, and numerous nonfiction pieces. She has recently completed a new novel.
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)