Using the techniques of literary journalism, we'll write about topics with a nature/environment focus. Along the way, we'll take cues from Edward Abbey, Terry Tempest Williams, Rick Bass, and Louise Erdrich, who explore a connection between their lives and the environment, from personal to political. Through a combination of reading discussions and writing workshops, we'll discuss best practices and research methods, from interviews to archives. Every writer will compose two pieces—one short personal piece, and one longer essay integrating research. We will also discuss publication opportunities.
Freelance writing, or nonfiction writing for a variety of publications, requires journalistic skills, a clear writing voice, and marketing savvy. We'll practice all of these facets of freelance writing through writing, researching, and pitching your work. Some of the forms we'll discuss include place-based/travel, personality profile, reviews, and blog entries. We'll also discuss the business side of freelance writing, including sending queries, working with editors, and keeping track of your work.
This course offers a view of publishing through analyzing publications and publishers; writing and submitting work; and working with others to bring a submitted manuscript to printed book form. Some of the tasks we'll complete include manuscript selection, editing, and marketing of the final product. Skills learned and practiced in this course translate well to work in the editorial field.
In creative nonfiction, writers find the extraordinary in the everyday using literary techniques such as dialog, characterization, and scene to explore true events. This versatile writing style is expressive as well as informative, and has application in academic, literary, and business settings. Some genres of creative nonfiction include memoir, travel narrative, literary journalism, the lyric essay, and flash nonfiction.