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CNF 48 W — The Real World: An Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 26—Sep 1
Drop Deadline: Jul 4
Units: 3
Tuition: $850
Instructor(s): Rosalie Moffett
Limit: 17
Jun 26—Sep 1
10 weeks
Drop By
Jul 4
3 Units
Rosalie Moffett
The urge to write creative nonfiction is the urge to document the important moments that hang in our memory and in history, the events after which nothing is the same. What’s more, it is the desire to make meaning, to discover something about ourselves, and to make sense of what’s around us. This kind of writing presents unique challenges; possibilities for perspective, investigation, and reflection can seem endless. How can we know where to begin? And how can we go beyond a mere listing of events and facts—documentation—to achieve discovery, beauty, and power?

Whether you want to write about personal experience or turn your eye on the world at large, this course is designed to offer a fertile foundation in the craft of nonfiction, and to get you writing. Because nonfiction requires a poet’s attention to language and reflection and a fiction writer’s sense of story, this is a course for writers of all stripes and levels. Established and contemporary greats, such as J.J. Sullivan, Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, and Cheryl Strayed, will serve as instruction, inspiration, and jumping-off points. Intended to be a highly generative course, students will leave with a wide range of work, including two short workshopped essays. Lastly, we’ll look at various avenues for publication.

Although the time commitment for an online writing course is dependent upon one’s degree of participation, students should plan on investing four to six hours per week in order to gain substantial benefit from the course.

Rosalie Moffett, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Rosalie Moffett is the author of June in Eden, which received the 2015 The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Narrative, The Believer, AGNI, and Tin House, among others. She received a “Discovery”/Boston Review prize and a Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s award, and fellowships from the Tin House Writer’s Workshop and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She received an MFA from Purdue.

Textbooks for this course:

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