2020 - Spring: Long-Form Narrative

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1182.006

Day & Time: Tuesday, 10:00am-1:00pm

Location: 653

Instructor: Mary W. Quigley

New York City pulsates with constant change, driven by people who push boundaries, experiment with ideas, inspire creativity.   In this course, we’ll chronicle what drives people to get out of bed every morning.  A paycheck? A passion? Both? What have they learned from success and from failure? And what can we—and our readers—learn from their journeys.

In the process you’ll will ramp up your basic skills to tackle challenging assignments, using style and voice.  We’ll learn—though assignments and great readings—long-form narrative writing techniques. We’ll use the writing devices of fiction apply them to nonfiction: plot, scene, characters, setting, dialogue, theme, voice, point of view, and so on.

To help with both research and story ideas, students will choose a subculture as a beat as long as the “beat” has a New York base. What fascinates you? What do you want to write about?  In previous semesters students wrote about activists in the South Bronx “food desert,”  Instagram influencers, former felons trying to reconnect with their children, death doulas, collectors with weird hobbies, and stans among other topics.