J298 Intro to Reported Narrative Writing

Sometimes the best way to tell a reported story is to tell the story, using techniques of fine fiction: character, scene, pacing, dialogue, tension, strategically-placed backgrounding. For this course we’ll do a lot of reading—articles, book excerpts, essays, graphic novel-style journalism. Most will come in the form of a two-volume reader, and we’ll focus on different aspects of each piece; you’ll want to bring the reading in, marked up with your thoughts and favorite/least favorite passages. You’ll also be writing sometimes during class, with exercises to let you experiment with situations and voicing. We’ll learn how writers conceive and pitch narrative story ideas; how to report for narrative; and, crucially, how to keep your narrative true to your reporting. Assignments will include a few short pieces, an essay drawing on personal experience, and one more ambitious project. First and second year students welcome. Limit 12.

Professor Cynthia Gorney taught for 16 years at the School of Journalism before leaving in 2015 to work as a contributing writer for National Geographic Magazine. She has also been a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and written for many others, including The New Yorker, Harpers, and Sports Illustrated. A National Magazine Award finalist and winner of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Feature Writing Award, she is the author of Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of the American Abortion Wars.



Time:  Fri 9–12pm

Location:  106 North Gate (Upper News)

Class Number:  16701

Section:  019

Units:  3

Length:  15 weeks

Course Material Fee:  None

Enroll Limit:  12

Restrictions & Prerequisites

Open to any student, but priority will be given to first-year narrative track students.