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CNF 199 — Write Your Memoir: Take the Next Steps

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 4—Jun 6
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 6
Units: 3
Tuition: $710
Instructor(s): John W. Evans
Limit: 21
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Closed
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Apr 4—Jun 6
10 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 6
3 Units
John W. Evans
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Have you taken a beginning memoir or personal essay writing course, gotten a great start on your project, and then stalled or become uncertain how to proceed through the murky middle? Or maybe you are making progress on a memoir but you miss the energy of a workshop and wish to continue studying the craft of personal writing with an instructor who can provide targeted exercises and sophisticated models for writing about your life in a meaningful way. If so, this is the course for you.

We will study examples of personal writing by authors like Anne Carson, Eula Biss, Elif Batuman, and others who have written memoirs that innovate both within and outside of the formal traditions, including hybrids of journalism and personal writing, deep dives into personal subjects that twin with passions or areas of expertise, and avant-garde lyric memoirs. You will write and revise at least two short essays and one longer memoir chapter or essay. Workshops will serve as the springboard for our larger class conversations about theme and craft. A variety of creative prompts, critical exercises, and assigned readings will foster your understanding and appreciation of the range of forms a memoir can take, as well as your growth as a creative writer.

This course is designed for students who have completed CNF 09: “Writing the Memoir: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” or have taken at least one memoir or personal essay course.

Nancy Draper Lecturer of Creative Nonfiction and Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

John W. Evans is the author of four books. His latest, The Fight Journal, received the Rattle Prize and is forthcoming in early 2023. Should I Still Wish: A Memoir was selected for the "American Lives" series. Young Widower: A Memoir received the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize and a Foreword INDIES award. The Consolations: Poems was named the 2015 Peace Corps Writers Best Poetry Book. His work has appeared in Slate, The Missouri Review, Boston Review, Zyzzyva, Poets & Writers, and The Best American Essays.

Textbooks for this course:

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