Writer David Shields once said that what distinguishes essay from fiction is that essays offer the “drama of ideas” (whereas fiction presents “drama of action”). “Like most writers, I’ve got a head full of ideas bouncing around at all times,” says instructor Rob Williams. “The fun part is figuring out which one I want to explore in an essay first.”
In this 5-week course we’ll start with your own ideas, sourcing material for what will become a compelling, layered personal essay or short memoir piece. We’ll move through scene-building, tone and voice, character and setting—the various techniques for crafting short creative nonfiction—while reading short essays from writers such as Zadie Smith, Bernard Cooper, and Sarah Vowell, among others.
Rob says, “With fun, inventive writing exercises as well as in-class workshopping, you’ll learn how to turn personal anecdote into a fleshed-out, thoughtful, and impactful personal essay.”
Rob Williams teaches Creative Writing and English at Skyline College and has led writing workshops at San Diego Writers Ink on flash fiction and creative nonfiction. His essays and fiction have appeared in Maisonneuve Magazine, Versal, 400 Words, San Diego Citybeat Magazine and various anthologies including I Do/I Don’t and Foolish Hearts. He is the co-editor of the Lambda Literary Award-nominated anthology From Boys to Men: Gay Men Write About Growing Up and has received writing fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Fishtrap. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and worked as a Poetry Reader for W. W. Norton in New York City.
- Thursday, February 20, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Thursday, February 27, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Thursday, March 05, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Thursday, March 12, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Thursday, March 19, 7:00pm-9:30pm
I enjoyed the writing exercises in "class" and the workshops. I found Rob's feedback to me and the other writers to be very helpful and a big part of the learning experience.