The New School

Honors Nonfiction Workshop

Aug 27 – Dec 17, 2018

In this workshop, students sharpen their skills as storytellers, drawing from their own experience and linking their narratives to larger, timely themes — bringing together the personal and political. Students keep a journal, each week concentrating on a different aspect of craft. Student works are carefully critiqued each week. Assigned readings explore race, class, post-colonialism, and war, among other subjects, and include short essays, memoir, reportage, and travel writing by Katherine Boo, Haruki Murakami, Liao Yiwu, Svetlana Alexievich, George Packer, Jonathan Raban, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Emmanuel Carrere, Geoff Dyer, Claudia Rankine, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Tim O’Brien. Readings will include excerpts from longer works as well as journal and magazine articles.


Nov 10 & 17, 2018

This intensive workshop focuses on short nonfiction, as both finished work and scaffolding for compression, lyricism, and experimentation in longer prose narratives. The course explores a variety of short (500-750-word) nonfiction forms, including memoir/personal essay, argument, social commentary, meditation, reflection, criticism, and cross-genre hybrids in both print and online publications. Participants write, critique, and revise eight original works during two consecutive Saturday workshops.