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In this class, we’ll read four published works of narrative nonfiction that take different approaches to storytelling. Written lessons will describe what to consider when editing narrative nonfiction, and we’ll discuss the lessons and the novels in the class forums. You’ll write a total of four revision letters covering developmental problems you noted in the published works, and the instructor will provide feedback on each revision letter.

We’ll talk about what we mean by narrative nonfiction and how it differs from other types of nonfiction, including memoir, history, and biography. We’ll discuss how storytelling techniques borrowed from fiction are used to inform narrative nonfiction. We’ll look at how authors can find the information they need to fulfill the “nonfiction” aspect of narrative. And we’ll dig into how we might effectively edit such manuscripts, helping the author see how to creative more effective works through the use of storytelling techniques.

The books we’ll be reading (in this order) are:

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

            Discussion begins Sep 3; assignment due Sep 29

In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson

            Discussion begins Sep 30; assignment due Oct 20

Wolfish by Erica Berry

            Discussion begins Oct 21; assignment due Nov 10

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

            Discussion begins Nov 11; assignment due Dec 8 You’ll need to purchase each of the books we use in the class.

The links are affiliate links to Amazon but of course you can purchase from any bookstore.