Creative Nonfiction: Write Truth with Style

Susan Orlean, Staff Writer, The New Yorker

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15 Videos (1h 49m)
    • Trailer

      1:34
    • Introduction

      6:43
    • Subject: Finding Your Topic

      9:35
    • Subject: Finding "The American Male at Age Ten"

      7:15
    • Research: Preparing for Reporting

      9:10
    • Research: Reporting

      9:16
    • Research: Organizing Notes

      9:59
    • Writing: Elements of a Story

      9:41
    • Writing: Dialogue and Quotes

      6:02
    • Writing: Description

      4:45
    • Writing: Expert Opinion

      3:16
    • Writing: Conclusions

      10:07
    • Editing: Revising

      9:58
    • Editing: Collaborating

      3:08
    • The Ongoing Work of a Writer

      8:51
86 students are watching this class

About This Class

The rise of sites like Medium and Longreads have inspired a resurgence in creative nonfiction—that compelling, leisurely writing that weaves true ideas and characters into stories that reveal as much about its readers as its subject. But where do those stories come from? And how do they work?

In this class, Susan Orlean, best-selling author and longtime New Yorker staff writer, walks us through her writing process for transforming ordinary subjects into exceptional stories. She reveals how she prepares to write, takes a close look at her classic Esquire piece “The American Male at Age Ten,” and delves into why curiosity, revision, and collaboration are at the heart of being a writer.

In under two hours, this class demystifies the writing craft so that you can write a short and unforgettable profile of your own. Whether you’re an active writer, aspiring freelancer, or simply curious about the power of language, this class will help you navigate and polish the creative process of telling your best story.

429 of 431 students recommendSee All

I've been working as a writer for over a decade. It's a craft and like the stories I write, it's a skillset that never reaches a finished state. This class had me question some of my old habits, set new ones, and refocus on the way I research and tell stories.
This is the best class on non fiction writing. However, the class doens't teach you the basics of writing, instead it assumes that you have some experience writing stories.
It's very informative and provides information applicable to all genres of writing. It's worthwhile to take this course.

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Susan Orlean

Staff Writer, The New Yorker

Susan Orlean is an acclaimed American journalist. She has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992, and has contributed articles to Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Esquire. She is the author of eight books, including The Orchid Thief (later adapted into Spike Jonze's Adaptation, in which Meryl Streep portrayed Orlean) and the New York Times bestseller Rin Tin Tin.

She was a 2004 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. In 2012, she received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the U...

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