Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Subculture Writing

Isaac Eger, Writer

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9 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Finding Your Subculture

    • 4. How to Get Invited

    • 5. Interaction

    • 6. Interviewing

    • 7. Writing

    • 8. Getting Published

    • 9. Epilogue


Project Description

Talk of the Town


One of my favorite venues of subculture writing is The New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town.” Each small story is a journey into one of the many worlds that people inhabit. Sometimes it’s an interview with the star of an embarrassing diarrhea commercial. Other times it’s a glimpse of an intersection between humans and animals. Every piece requires the writer to be physically present somewhere. 

Your assignment will be to write your own Talk of the Town essay. 

It could be about anything--the first day it’s warm enough for people to wear t-shirts after winter, an afternoon with old folks who do Tai Chi in a public park, the life of a pizza delivery guy. 

The first step is to go outside and be there—because being there is the foundation of writing about subcultures. 

You can write it in the first or third person. It can be a formal piece of journalism or informal, diary-like prose. The length of the piece could be anywhere from 250 to 3,500 words. 


Once you've uploaded your essay to the project gallery, I will personally look it over and give notes. From there, we can discuss which publications/venues might be appropriate for your writing. 


For inspiration, consider picking up any New Yorker and read the Talk of the Town section. 

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