This is a hands-on course in nonfiction writing taught by a longtime disciple of William Zinsser. Participants will engage in 600-word essays—ideal for columns, blog posts or op-eds—while absorbing invaluable lessons at each step: pre-planning, questions of tone and audience, the lead, the ending, linear sequential writing, cleaning and editing. We’ll look at how to bring warmth and precision to any writing task, the magic of the simple declarative sentence, and why we as writers ought to be, to use Zinsser’s word, “generalists.” This class is for beginners who lack confidence, journalists who lack poetry, and anyone who’d like to improve their prose—before hitting “send.”
Diana Goetsch is the author of three full-length collections of poems—most recently Nameless Boy (Orchises Press, 2015)—and four prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, and Best American Poetry. Her essays and nonfiction pieces have appeared in Utne Reader, Fourth Genre, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. From 2015-16 she wrote “Life in Transition,” a weekly column at The American Scholar online. Among her honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Donald Murray Prize for writing pedagogy, and a Pushcart Prize.