Reading literary journalism is the literary equivalent of watching a great documentary, or listening to an addicting podcast, like Serial or S-Town. The stories are true, but they’re conveyed beautifully and artistically, and often with more than a little rhetorical bias built in. In this course, we’ll read several short pieces written by the masters of this genre—from George Orwell to Joan Didion to Hunter S. Thompson—in order to identify and investigate the fundamental techniques of this brand of nonfiction writing. We will also consult selected chapters from Lee Gutkind’s You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, which will guide our weekly discussions of topics ranging from research methods and rendering scenes to choosing a perspective and fact checking.
Each week, we will talk about the assigned readings, participate in writing exercises, and—most importantly—discuss each other’s work. Students will have two opportunities to have their work critiqued (up to 25 pages each time), and they will receive feedback from the instructor as well as their classmates. In addition to providing written feedback, students will also be expected to adhere to respectful and open-minded workshopping standards.
This 8-week class begins on June 6th. For more information and to register for our 8-Week Introduction to Literary Journalism Workshop with Mag Gabbert, simply click on the photo above!