Introduction to Literary Journalism
What you can learn.
- Define what literary journalism is and how it differs from standard reportage
- Read examples from contemporary masters like Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, and Gay Talese
- Develop skills of strong fiction writing to apply to writing about true events
- Start your own literary journalism project and get input from peers and the instructor
About this course:
Literary journalism is nonfiction prose that transcends “who, what, where and when” to give a more detailed, richer, more vivid picture of real events. It combines an immersive approach to reporting with the aims and techniques of fiction. Although this type of writing has roots in antiquity (i.e., Thucydides’s The Peloponnesian War), contemporary practitioners include Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, John McPhee, and Gay Talese. Today, literary journalism appears in periodicals such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire and Harper’s Magazine, as well as in the magazines or literary supplements of many major newspapers. By the end of the course, you have an understanding of the basic techniques for reporting and writing such journalism and at least one project started.