Do you have drafts of essays, memoir, or reported nonfiction pieces you’re ready to push to the next level? Are you stuck with structure, pacing, point of view, or character development and ready for feedback on how to move forward? This class is for nonfiction writers who are ready to take their pieces to the next level through feedback from classmates and instructor, and who want to learn through the reading and discussion of the work of others.
Throughout the course you’ll submit your own pieces each week, as well as read pieces by several of your classmates. You’ll be divided into different small groups each week, so you’ll have a chance to experience a variety of writing styles and content while not feeling overwhelmed with reading everyone’s piece every time. "Offering feedback on the work of others—finding and articulating what does and doesn't work and why—is the quickest way to solve your own writing quandaries and stuck places," says instructor Gila Lyons. "Through the supportive and conscientious workshopping of pieces, we'll crystallize the heart and essence of your nonfiction pieces." You’ll also receive written feedback from the instructor and opportunities to communicate with her throughout the course.
The course will use the online platform Wet Ink, which allows for clear, targeted commentary on submissions. Before class begins, Gila will send out a questionnaire to get a sense of your writing and editing experience, goals for the course, and material you want to work on. She'll gear assignments towards your unique writing and revision needs.
Students will finish the class with polished pieces that have been carefully edited and commented on by teacher and fellow classmates, and polished by the writer's increased critical capacities and craft knowledge. If desired, Gila will guide students in the publication process towards the end of the course.
Gila Lyons‘ writing has appeared in The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Healthline, Health Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Vice, Vox, The Huffington Post, Salon, Poets & Writers, and other publications. Her pieces have been anthologized in books and anthologies, most recently in ABOUT US: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times. Gila has served as one of three “Alices” at Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University’s award-winning health and sexuality website, as well as a health writer for The Chopra Center and KHealth. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.
There are no mandatory live class meetings from January 24 – March 07. This class gives students an opportunity to determine their own flexible work schedule.