New Class!
Special Topics in Nonfiction

Beyond Nonfiction

Friday, February 21st, 10:00am-5:00pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

"“Essay,” “memoir,” “creative nonfiction”: these terms can be slippery and difficult to define. This one-day course takes that slipperiness as its premise, exploring styles that fall outside traditionally conceived notions of nonfiction while still rooting themselves in factual events. Nonfiction that transforms into poetry, fiction that approaches factuality, and writing that slips between genres will all be read and practiced in this workshop. We will also talk about the ethics of departing from strict notions of fact.

Writing prompts, a mini-workshop, and reflection on your own nonfiction style will all play a role in this course. Students are encouraged to bring a real-life event you have been considering or writing about—and to be ready to expand your approach to that real-world event into genres you may not yet have considered.

Possible texts may include, but are not limited to: Wendy S. Walters, from Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal; Steven Dunn, Potted Meat; Jenny Boully, from Betwixt-and-Between; Lily Hoang, from A Bestiary; Selah Saterstrom, from Ideal Suggestions; Etel Adnan, from Journey to Mount Tamalpais; excerpts from The New New Journalism: Conversations with America's Best Nonfiction Writers on Their Craft.

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Dennis James Sweeney
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Previous Students Say

  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • In-Class Reading


  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Literary Journalism
  • Nonfiction

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