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CNF 73 W — Writing the Real: The Power of Personal Narrative

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Mar 29—Jun 4
Refund Deadline: Apr 1
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Monique Wentzel
Limit: 20
Status: Closed
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Mar 29—Jun 4
10 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 1
3 Units
Monique Wentzel
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. — Ernest Hemingway

Living through challenging times can prompt us to access an authentic voice and create our most genuine writing. When things get hard, we get real. In this course, we will look at a variety of forms available to us as authors seeking to tell personal stories: poetry, essays, flash nonfiction, and memoir. We will read personal writing by acclaimed authors Anne Lamott, Danez Smith, Samantha Irby, and others who have been praised for their authenticity and relevance, exploring the craft elements that make each piece work. For the first five weeks, prompts will inspire you to practice writing personal stories in a variety of literary forms, sharing these shorter pieces in small groups. The second half of the course will be conducted as a workshop in which you'll submit a longer personal essay, memoir excerpt, or a small portfolio of nonfiction or poems for feedback. In addition to a weekly Zoom class, there will be three Friday night virtual "happy hours" where students can gather to talk about all things writing and reading. This course is meant for total beginners and more experienced writers alike. The only prerequisite is the willingness to get real on the page.

Monique Wentzel, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Monique Wentzel is the author of the short story collection The Woods Were Never Quiet. Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Cimarron Review, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. She has been fiction editor of the literary journal BOAAT and is at work on a series of personal essays. She also teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and is a mentor for the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. Wentzel received an MFA from Portland State and is currently pursuing an MDiv at United Theological Seminary.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, 2nd ed. (ISBN 9781439156810)
(Required) Sloane Crosley, Look Alive Out There:Essays (ISBN 978-0374279844)
(Required) Nadia Owusu, Aftershocks: A Memoir (ISBN 1982111224)