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This nonfiction workshop will focus on teaching writers how to be fearless when writing the truth — no matter what that truth looks like. So many times, nonfiction writers are afraid to let go and get to the heart of what it is they want to write about an issue, feeling, or experience. Because of this, they tend to write around the issue rather than fearlessly, unapologetically write about the issue. It is this kind of writing that makes us as writers feel uncomfortable because of its bluntness, grit, honesty, and intensity.
This workshop will help students, through creative writing prompts and studying essays written by fearless writers, to put down on paper what they have been too afraid to write about, or what they have been having difficulty approaching within their own creative nonfiction work.
We will look closely at essays from Cheryl Strayed, Genevieve Hudson, T Clutch Fleischmann, Julia A. Cohen, Mary Ruefle, Michele Filgate, and Marcos Santiago Gonsalez to discuss what makes both the essays and the writers fearless, ways in which the writers approached difficult subjects, how they wrote about the topics they did, as well as literary devices, forms, and structures that enabled them to gain emotional depth and power in their writing. During the second half of the workshop, we will use what we’ve learned from studying these essays to craft fearless work of our own through writing prompts, free writing time, and/or stream of consciousness writing.
*Students are asked to read the essays before coming to class, and to print out copies to bring with them for discussion.*
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