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CNF 50 W — An Introduction to Creative Nonfiction: Telling the Truth

Quarter: Spring
Date(s): Mar 28—Jun 3
Duration: 10 weeks
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Mar 31
Unit(s): 3 Units
Tuition: $805
Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Limit: Limit 17
Status: Closed
It’s hard to tell the truth. Whether we’re writing about ourselves, our community, or the broader world, evoking what really happened can be a challenge. Sometimes it feels like bad manners. Sometimes it feels risky. Yet the truth is the source of creative nonfiction’s incredible power. By telling the truth, we are able to see more clearly our own lives and our connection to the rest of the world.

In this course, we’ll work from inside out, writing initially from memory and gradually turning our focus outward to write about our communities and the world at large. Through a wide variety of published essays, we’ll become familiar with the risks and strategies that make creative nonfiction successful, as well as the practical and ethical problems that arise when you choose to tell a true story. Every week, writing exercises will prompt your own explorations of self, community, and world, encouraging you to take risks in the telling of these stories. In-class workshops will help you to refine your approach and give you ideas for taking each piece through another draft. Readings will include the craft book Tell It Slant and selections from the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction.

This is an online course. For more information about the Online Writing Program, visit our FAQs.

Stephanie Soileau, Former Marsh McCall Lecturer in Continuing Studies; Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Stephanie Soileau’s work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Ecotone, Tin House, Gulf Coast, StoryQuarterly, Nimrod International Journal, three volumes of New Stories from the South, and Best of the South: From the Second Decade of New Stories from the South. She received a 2012 literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Soileau is working on a novel and nonfiction essays about fishing, family, oil, and erosion in her home state of Louisiana.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Brenda Miller & Suzanne Paola, Tell It Slant, 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-0071781770)
(Required) Lex Williford (Editor), The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction (ISBN 978-1416531746)