Nonfiction Writing


This workshop will focus on the elements common to a wide range of nonfiction writing. We will examine and analyze the structure of the well-formed sentence, of the paragraph, of the personal essay and memoir fragment. Readings will be drawn from a wide range of contemporary and classic texts, and the class will be assigned exercises based on the readings. We will look closely, at some point in the semester, at contemporary experimental nonfiction writing. Students will also be asked to workshop at least two substantial pieces of nonfiction prose and a number of smaller pieces. We will investigate the issues surrounding the notions of style and voice and will spend a considerable amount of time thinking collectively about how factual material and research are accommodated within the stylistic constraints of literary texts. My expectation is that the discussions will be lively and civil and that everyone will contribute.