Write and Reclaim Your Life or Career

By: Bill Whaley
11 October, 2011

Emergency Notice: Phone 758-2828.

English 423, a creative nonfiction-writing workshop, will emphasize style, clarity, and revision. If you are interested in creating a portfolio for graduate school consideration or completing that memoir, turning your journal into a series of essays, or revising your academic papers, this is the class for you.

Or perhaps you’re concerned about completing those anecdotes and stories about your youthful escapades for your grandchildren but aimed at posthumous publication for the family only. Turn your journal or letters, memories or adventures into long-lasting tributes to your times and your place in America (or elsewhere).

The class/workshop begins on Sat. Oct. 22. We’ll work in teams: listen, advise, study style, and improve our prose. Here’s a class with a deadline: Let’s finish what we started. Register today: Call Mary, Alison, or Heidi at 758-2828. We will meet at the UNM HQ on Ledoux St in the heart of the historic district.


Bill Whaley

Syllabus for English 423

Instructor: William (Bill) Whaley Email: bwhaley@newmex.com
Office: TBA Office Phone: 770-4150
Office Hours: TBA Course Credits: 3
Class Meeting Days: Sat. Class Time: 10 AM—3 PM
Class Location/Room: 246-B, Ledoux St: Fall 2011, Oct. 22-Dec. 17

Course Description: An advanced course in creative nonfiction or expository writing with a strong emphasis on revision. It combines the workshop experience with classroom study of published authors and practitioners, regarding style. A $20.00 workshop fee is required.

Course Objectives. In English 423, creative nonfiction, the instructor will teach fundamental principles, focusing on style, language, and clarity. Students will learn how to develop voice, concision, revision and editing skills. The course is designed to help students revise memoirs, develop academic papers, work from journals, write letters, essays, or learn about the parameters of columns or articles for newspapers and periodicals. We will read published writers and research issues of revision.

Textbooks and Supplies.

Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, by Joseph M. Williams (Longman, New York)
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them., by Francine Prose (HarperCollins Publishers)

Excerpts (Handouts, Internet): Plato, Aristotle, Demetrius, Longinus, Croll, Hazlitt, Bacon, Pater, Montaigne, Emerson, and a variety of 19th, 20th , 21st Century examples from published writers, concerning style. Readings and assignments will be adapted to student needs and purposes.

Course Requirements. Students will be required to present a writing project or series of essays, or academic papers, etc. for revision of not less than twenty-five pages for 80% of the grade. Readings, responses, quizzes and class participation will count for 20% of grade. Class discussion will focus on style and reading in workshop format.

Grading. Grades will be accorded based on UNM policies.

Attendance is required unless excused by instructor. Regular and punctual attendance is required. If the student misses three classes, the student may be dropped.

Schedule of Assignments:

Week One (Oct. 22): Introduction, Discussion, In-Class Writing

Week Two (Oct. 29): Style (Williams) Part 1—Part II
Prose, TBA
Draft Project (1) Due

Week Three (Nov. 5) Style (Williams) Part III
Prose, TBA
First Revision Due

Week Four (Nov. 12) : Style (Williams) Part IV Three
Prose, TBA
Second Revision Due

Week Five (Nov. 19): Style (Williams) Part V-VI
Prose, TBA
Final Revision Due

Week Off Thanksgiving

Week Six (Dec.3) Style (Williams) Part VII-VIII
Prose, TBA
Draft Due (2)

Week Seven (Dec. 10) Style (Williams) Part IX-X
Prose, TBA

Week Nine (Dec. 17) Final Draft Revision Due
Reading Final Papers