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

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.

271 of 272 students recommendSee All

Excellent class!
Susan is, unsurprisingly, great. This course is clear, concise and inspiring. If you take her advice to heart, you'll be on your way to writing solid creative non-fiction in no time.
I loved this class - it's as informative as it is a candid view of the writing process Orlean teaches with a passion for the subject and en empathy for authors on any experience level. I'll be employing a few of the lessons learned in my work.

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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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