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FICT 66 — Turning Life Stories into Fiction

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jun 28—Aug 23
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jun 30
Units: 2
Tuition: $595
Instructor(s): Elizabeth Percer
Limit: 22
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on July 5
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Jun 28—Aug 23
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jun 30
2 Units
Elizabeth Percer
Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on July 5
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Have you ever dreamed of exploring an inspiring life story through the lens of fiction? Have you ever wondered how fiction might help you to express your passions, experiences, or cultural identity? Authors frequently use lived experiences as a launchpad for inspiration, and this course is aimed at helping students find that dynamic intersection between true stories and imagined ones. We will consider a wide variety of authors who have come before us, leaping from the playful to the profound and back again as we read excerpts from Sherman Alexie, Ralph Ellison, Rebecca Makkai, Flannery O’Connor, Ocean Vuong, and others. During our first two weeks of class, we will be using in-class writing exercises, readings, and prompts to help us recognize and discover our best material, and group discussions to identify the many ways we can use fiction to access our most meaningful truths. We will follow with six weeks of intensive student workshops, opening with a brief lecture on craft before diving into our own stories or novel chapters in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. Along the way, we will work together to discover how stories inspired by fact can offer us the best of both worlds—the freedom of fiction combined with the irreplaceable power of lived experiences.

This course can be taken more than once. While the sessions will be recorded, it is important that students attend class during workshop weeks.


Elizabeth Percer is the author of two novels, All Stories Are Love Stories and An Uncommon Education, as well as Ultrasound, a book of poems. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has received awards from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund. She received a PhD in arts education from Stanford, and a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Writing Project at UC Berkeley.

Textbooks for this course:

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