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Narrative Journalism

Intermediate Level // 10-Week Online Course

Narrative Journalism

April 08 - June 16

$435 if registered by 03/18/2019
$485 if registered after 03/18/2019

Your course registration includes a free 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction or a free ebook; click here for more details.

Refund and cancellation policies

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Instructor: Marty Levine

This class will explore how successful narrative journalists immerse themselves in their subjects’ worlds and/or conduct insightful interviews to reconstruct stories from the past. Over the course of 10 weeks, participants will learn how to conduct interviews, in-depth, immersive observations, construct scenes, define characters, and employ dialog artfully. The class will analyze how longer pieces are constructed, from notes to finished narrative, and discuss pieces by expert modern practitioners of narrative journalism, such as Sebastian Junger, Rebecca Skloot, Barbara Ehrenreich, John Berendt and others. Examples include profiles, science writing, personal journeys of discovery in which the writer takes center stage, and reported pieces in which the writer disappears into his or her subjects.

How it works: Participants may choose to write three shorter pieces or one longer piece. Additional course work includes discussion forums, a weekly how-to presentation and optional writing exercises. Participants will be able to post notes and early drafts along the way, receiving feedback from both the instructor and other class members, as well as a final full critique from the instructor.

Each week provides:

  • discussions of assigned readings and other general writing topics with peers and the instructor
  • written lectures and a selection of readings

Some weeks also include:

  • writing prompts and/or assignments
  • opportunities to submit a full-length essay for instructor and/or peer review (up to 3,500 words and typically in weeks 3, 6, and 9)
  • optional video conferences that are open to all students in Week 2 (and which will be available afterwards as a recording for those who cannot participate)

Aside from the live conference, there is no need to be online at any particular time of day. To create a better classroom experience for all, you are expected to participate weekly in class discussions to receive instructor feedback on your work.

Week 1: From idea to doable article, including the basics of narrative nonfiction
Week 2: Preparing for and conducting interviews
Week 3: Preparing for and accomplishing immersions/observations
Week 4: Writing characters
Week 5: Choosing dialogue
Week 6: Constructing scenes
Week 7. Structure, transitions and themes
Week 8: Ethics and special circumstances
Week 9: Micorediting and critiquing   
Week 10: Revising and the CNF marketplace

See the complete syllabus here»

See schedule of all available classes»

* US residents will receive a complimentary 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction with their online class registration (or a 4-issue extension to their existing subscription). Students outside the US can receive a free copy of the ebook Creating Nonfiction, or can choose to receive a 4-issue print subscription for the cost of shipping fees. We regret that we are not able to supply complimentary digital subscriptions for international students at this time.

If you are an international student who would like a print subscription instead of an ebook, please contact us at information@creativenonfiction.org after you register.

Refund and cancellation policies

By 5pm EST on the Monday before classes begin (one week prior to start date):

  • Students may request a refund (less a $50 application fee) or request a transfer to another course in the same term (no fee).

By 5pm EST on the Friday at the end of the first week of classes:

  • Students may transfer their enrollment credit to a future course (less a $95 processing fee for 10-week courses or a $75 processing fee for 5-week courses). Transfer credits must be applied within two years from your cancellation date.
  • Students may switch to another class in the same term (subject to availability) for a $25 fee.

No refunds or transfers will be offered after this deadline.