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MFA Course Descriptions

IMF 52305
Focused Nonfiction Workshop: Longform Narrative Journalism

Instructor: Tony D'Souza

Class Type: Workshop

Course Description:

Too often fiction writers and poets overlook opportunities in a vibrant, third genre: fact-based nonfiction storytelling. In fact, it is generally much easier to reach publication and pay through nonfiction than the other genres because there are so many magazines and websites eager to find good nonfiction content. Have no fear--this course is open to absolute beginners and seasoned nonfiction writers alike. We will all be learners here on this commercial nonfiction writing journey and we will help one another with encouragement and openness.

Narrative journalism (also known as longform nonfiction) is the art of telling a true story, weaving research and facts into an engaging, page-turning piece of non-fiction that reads with energy, insight and depth. Readers love non-fiction as a means to better understand the world and people different from them. The task of the narrative nonfiction writer is to paint accurate and vivid portraits of people and subjects even the journalist, at the beginning of the writing, may know little about.

Media is changing quickly with many new online platforms for publishing narrative journalism; in fact, narrative journalism may be enjoying is most vibrant period ever. We will look at a diverse sampling of long narrative non-fiction pieces from some of the leading outlets today, including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Harper's, and Vanity Fair. We'll discuss how to achieve the 'holy grail' of the narrative journalist — writing a piece with "three-dimensionality" — as well as investigate how to balance primary and secondary sources, dialogue, interviews, and hard facts with the demands of story-telling. Students will have free range to investigate whatever subjects are dear to their own hearts while building strong foundations as narrative nonfiction writers in this field of writing where publishers are actively looking for new writers and content.

We will find personal styles and answers to the most important question of all: "How do I tell this true tale in a way that always brings the reader along?"

No Textbook is Required

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301