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Writing the Weird and Wonderful: Nonfiction

October 18, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Online, N/A, Portland, OR 97207

The world is a weird place, and we’re just here to document it. This course is for the scribes, the armchair historians, the miners of weird information — all of you aspiring nonfiction writers who aren’t sure what to do with your ideas, or budding freelance journalists looking to turn your ideas into sellable stories.

In this workshop, students will take their bits of brilliance and turn them into finely-honed pieces of nonfiction. We’ll take an idea from start to finish: generating story ideas, discussing options for research, conducting interviews, gaining trust with subjects, writing effective pitches, outlining and playing with structure and the editing process. Discussions and lectures will focus on the building blocks of great nonfiction stories, including visceral scenes, effective interviews, interesting story structures and the almighty nut graf. We will have short weekly writing assignments to flex your creative muscles, in addition to the one course-long assignment. We’ll read excerpts from nonfiction writers who have tons of style, and mine our creativity with
idea-generating workshop sessions.

When this class is over, you’ll have written, workshopped,conferenced and brainstormed your heart out — and you’ll come away more confident with how to sell your amazing ideas.

Class outcomes:
• One workshopped piece of nonfiction
• A journal of story ideas that you can turn into future pieces
• Renewed inspiration for finding new ideas

Class schedule (subject to change):
Week 1: Introductions, Reading Discussion, Writing Assignment
Week 2: Reading Discussion + Idea Generation
Week 3: Reading Discussion + Pitch Session + Writing Workshop
Week 4: Reading Discussion + Research Tools and Interview Basics + Writing Workshop
Week 5: Reading Discussion + Refining Your Pitch + Writing Workshop
Week 6: Reading Discussion + Story Structure
Week 7: Story Structure + Writing Workshop
Week 8: Editing roundtable

Access Program
We want our writing classes and Delves to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. Our Access Program offers writing class and Delve tuitions at a reduced rate. The access program for writing classes covers 60% of the class tuition. Most writing classes have at least one access spot available.

Please apply here for access rate tuition. Contact Susan Moore at if you have questions.

Leah Sottile

Leah Sottile is a journalist, podcast host and the author of the book When the Moon Turns to Blood. Her investigations and essays have been featured by The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and The Atlantic. She is the host of the podcasts “Bundyville” and BBC Radio 4’s “Two Minutes Past Nine”.


Portland, OR 97207


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