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CW 107 W — Writing through Struggle

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Jul 25—Aug 26
Refund Deadline: Jul 28
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 25—Aug 26
5 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 28
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 and 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, then making a brief comment to one other student in the class. The prompts will challenge us to explore and expand our personal truths 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, a community of fellow writers, and a sense of where to go next.

Because of the high enrollment capacity of the course, students will offer a single line of constructive feedback to one fellow student per prompt. Students may submit one piece per week for very light instructor feedback and encouragement. Online sessions will include breakout rooms for sharing our work.

Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Caroline Goodwin's essay "A Widow's Guide to OKCupid" received second place in the 2019 Barry Lopez Nonfiction Contest at Cutthroat Journal. Her recent poetry collections are Madrigals, Matanuska, and Old Snow, White Sun. 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.