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When we picture writers at work, we often imagine them at their desk, in a kind of sacred solitude, drawing from imagination or memory to create their stories. But what happens when writers leave their desk and venture forth into the wider world in search of stories to tell?
“We in the Bay Area live in a dynamic, rapidly-changing region,” says instructor Austin Smith. “The terrible fires in Sonoma and Napa, the issues of affordable housing and immigration policy, the changing demographics of our urban environment, all these issues that fill the daily news invite a deeper engagement on our part. In our five-week course, participants will seek out an issue that matters deeply to them, then delve into it, using all the skills at the writer's disposal. We will discuss how to approach complex issues in a careful manner, crafting empathetic stories that convey multiple perspectives. We will learn how to engage our readers, and invite them to engage more deeply in the issues our stories bring to light.”
By the end of the class, participants will have written a piece that could appear as an essay or an editorial, and will have a better sense for how to recognize, shape and share the stories that surround us.