Did you know that Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir, Wild, which later became a blockbuster movie starring Reese Witherspoon, was based off of one of Strayed’s personal essays? In this course we will read that piece, in addition to many others, in order to identify and investigate the fundamental techniques of personal 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 narrative frame and rendering scenes to ethical concerns 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 5th. For more information and to register for our Introduction to the Personal Essay Workshop with Mag Gabbert, simply click on the photo above!