Some of the strongest nonfiction writing out there—whether cultural criticism, the reported personal essay, an historical nonfiction narrative, or piece of long-form investigative journalism—grew from the flimsiest of tendrils: a hunch, a spark, an enthusiasm. In this advanced creative nonfiction writing course, you’ll learn how to hack your own unique brain into an idea-generating machine, and pair
each idea with the genre that best suits it. Course readings will include essays by great practitioners past and present, among them James Baldwin, Eula Biss, Barbara Ehrenreich, Darryl Pinckney, Richard Rodriguez, Rebecca Solnit, Alice Walker, Ellen Willis, and Virginia Woolf. We will analyze these works to figure out how each idea was brought to fruition, and learn tricks of the trade that will in turn fuel your idea-generator. The class will be a combination of class discussions, lectures, and workshops.