Advanced NonfictionInstructor: Stacia Ann (Stacia Ann)
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Start Date: Monday, October 5th, 2015
Duration: Five Weeks
Class Size: 7 Students
Seats Left: 4
In this class, we will choose one general topic to write on, such as the dynamics of hostage situations, and plan a series of articles/nonfiction pieces on it: for example, a scholarly article on the psychology of hostage takers, a review of a movie on the topic, a biography of a survivor a hostage crisis, an information article on famous hostage situations, etc. The possibilities of nonfiction pieces on one topic are nearly endless. Students will then have the opportunity to learn to market their work on a specific topic.
There will be discussion, reading, and writing assignments each week.
Textbook: "On Writing Well," by William Zinsser, focus on parts 3 and 4, text free online. Also sample readings free online as well. Links to all work provided by the instructor.
Note: the assignment due dates and indeed the class dates itself are flexible. Just submit what you can when you can. I also extend the invitation of students/former students to send their work to me any time for comment. Send as a word attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org (personal email).
Topics of Discussion:
Exploring nonfiction prose genres/forms and writing topics as well as markets.
Reading: Skim Part 3 Zinsser on different genres of nonfiction writing, with more focus on the genres of most interest to you.
Choose at topic, brainstorm at least five related subtopics/writing ideas, and write a short informational/news article/review of a movie, book, article, etc. on your topic.
Marketing: analyze a local publication, such as the arts and entertainment section of a local newspaper, regarding publishing opportunities and submission guidelines. An alternative is to check online for websites on your topic and see about their publication expectations and possibilities. Choose one or several possible places to market the work.
Topics of Discussion: Going deeper into and developing your topic and analyzing nonfiction genres.
Reading: Review/Read Chapter 2, Zinsser; sample readings from the teacher
Marketing: visit the library/book store (or online booksellers such as Amazon or online library if you have access to one). Check out the periodicals section of the library/bookstore. Find five potential markets for your work, those publications that publish pieces on the same topic, and note the required format as well as contact information for their submissions.
Writing Due: a review of someone else's work, book, article, movie, etc., related to your topic or a short summary of several pieces on your topic. An alternate is to interview an expert on the topic or someone with personal experience with it. mkChoose a market(s) for the work.
Topics of Discussion: More extensive research on a topic. Refining ideas, organization, details and development, perspective on a topic.
MarketIng: Contact the editorial department of at least one publication to see about publishing your work. Contact by email or phone.
Reading: Part 4 Zinsser, sample readings.
Writing due: longer piece on your topic using research/outside source material. Choose any of the genres from part 3 of your text. Consider your personal "voice" and style as you complete your work.
Discussion Topics: Polishing our work, organizing in conventional formats. Conciseness, clarity, format, organization, word choice, and sentence construction.
Reading: Part 4 Zinsser. Other sample readings TBA.
Writing: take one of your past pieces and polish it, or write a new piece in the genre of your choice. Find a potential market(s).
Marketing:Submit one nonfiction work to one publication, online or print, and/or to a contest, such as the nonfiction contest on the fanstory site.
Instructor: Stacia Ann
About The Instructor: Stacia Ann is an Linguistics Lecturer and Writing Instructor at the University of California. She has a doctorate of Education, Master's of Art in English/TESOL. This instructor has taught writing classes for over ten years. She also teaches academic writing and English as a Second Language at the University of the Pacific. A published author including works of short fiction and academic nonfiction including contest winning stories.