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Creative Nonfiction: Write Truth with Style

via Skillshare


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.


  • Trailer
  • Introduction
  • Subject: Finding Your Topic
  • Subject: Finding "The American Male at Age Ten"
  • Research: Preparing for Reporting
  • Research: Reporting
  • Research: Organizing Notes
  • Writing: Elements of a Story
  • Writing: Dialogue and Quotes
  • Writing: Description
  • Writing: Expert Opinion
  • Writing: Conclusions
  • Editing: Revising
  • Editing: Collaborating
  • The Ongoing Work of a Writer

Taught by

Susan Orlean


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