Nonfiction Workshop: Bravery and the Blank Page

Many of us have a powerful story to tell but are afraid to tell it. We may worry about making readers uncomfortable or feel uneasy as we try to capture difficult characters based on real people, wanting to be accurate but also kind. When writing personal nonfiction, bravery is essential. But how do we tap into that bravery and begin to lay our lives bare on the page?In this course, we’ll explore ways to create clarity in hard scenes, write about people from our lives in a balanced way, and say the things we’ve been holding back. We will read groundbreaking essays that confront hard truths about the world we live in from celebrated writers such as Jerald Walker, Eula Biss, and Cheryl Strayed. Weekly writing prompts will help you generate possibilities and write with conviction. These short writing exercises will become the starting point of a longer essay or book chapter. Throughout the course, you will share your work with other students in small-group workshops and will be able to select one short piece (up to 2,000 words) at the end of the course for instructor feedback.

Rose Whitmore
Author; Former Jones Lecturer and Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

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Online, instructor-led
Feb 5 - Mar 18, 2024
Stanford Continuing Studies