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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Intermediate

Persona and Voice in Nonfiction

No Longer Enrolling

  • $130.00 Non-Member
  • $110.00 Member

Class Description

In writing nonfiction, we turn real people into characters. The same is true when we’re writing about our younger selves. The same is true when we’re crafting a voice to tell the story or speak insightfully throughout the essay. In this class, we’ll explore strategies nonfiction writers use to characterize themselves, whether that persona will work from personal experience, or take a more outward focus on the lives of others.

Topics we’ll explore include voice, tone, balancing storytelling techniques with interiority and reflection, the character developments between the author’s younger and present-tense selves, negative capability, maintaining empathy for others, and the ethical challenges of writing about true things and real people.

We will not workshop existing work. There will be intermittent mini-lectures, but we will spend most of our time reading, discussing, and doing in-class writing and exercises. We will also discuss some of the writing students produce in class and help each other develop strategies that suit the situation of each individual piece.

This class would be most appropriate for those who already have some foundational knowledge of the conventions of nonfiction, but everyone is welcome.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!