Very short nonfiction -- whether it’s labeled “flash,” “micro,” “tiny,” or “brief” -- is riding a wave of attention and publication. We’ll read and try our hand at crafting several very short essays to the specifications laid down by two popular publishers of the form, River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, the editors of which select pieces of up to 250 words in length for their Beautiful Things blog; and Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, which features essays up to 750 words long.
Class sessions will include reading and discussing published brief creative nonfiction and its context, and hands-on writing exercises as we craft our own short pieces. Our reading and writing will engage a wide variety of topics. Please note, however, that while creative nonfiction starts in the personal, work in this program will center on observation of small moments of experience, not on life writing/memoir.
Assessing and experimenting with work in very short formats can provide an inviting introduction to the creative nonfiction writer’s craft. We’ll focus this quarter on structure, and on effective use of timing, sensory detail, and figurative language in communicating meaning and prompting reader emotion. Students new to creative writing and more experienced writers building knowledge to apply to work already underway are equally welcome.
Credit will be awarded in Introduction to Short-form Creative Nonfiction.
Creative writing, education, journalism, public relations, storytelling