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EGL 107 W — Writing Through Struggle

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Jul 26—Aug 27
Refund Deadline: Jul 29
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $345
Instructor(s): Caroline Goodwin
Limit: 100
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Jul 26—Aug 27
5 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 29
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Caroline Goodwin
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In a 2013 New Yorker interview, the memoirist Sonali Deraniyagala claimed that “writing is a much better quality of agony than trying to forget.” In other words, we can choose either to take our pain and create meaning through language and community, or to box up our pain and leave it on the shelf. The choice is ours. Whether we are stressed by the current political climate or by a more individual difficulty or loss, the simple act of writing through struggle can bring purpose and satisfaction. To understand how other writers have brought their own lives to the page, we will read brief samples of literary art, from contemporary blogs to short stories to Romantic poetry. Each weekday, students will receive a writing prompt, and will set a goal of freewriting to the prompt for a minimum of thirty minutes. These prompts will challenge us to delve into our experiences, exploring and expanding our personal truth into the three major genres of writing: creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. The goal will be simply to express ourselves, without worrying about the ultimate form of our creativity. Students will complete this course with a strong writing practice in place and clear direction for future projects.

Because of the high enrollment capacity of the course, students will offer a single line of constructive feedback to one student per prompt. Students may submit one piece per week for light instructor feedback, or up to 2,000 words total throughout the course.

Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Caroline Goodwin's essay "A Widow's Guide to OKCupid" received second place in the 2019 Barry Lopez Nonfiction Contest. Her recent poetry collections are The Paper Tree, Custody of the Eyes, and Madrigals. From 2014 to 2016, she served as San Mateo County's first poet laureate. She received an MFA from the University of British Columbia.

Textbooks for this course:

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