Interviewing for Story (Online)

Interviews form the basis of most documentary projects, and what creators are able to unearth during interviews often has a profound effect on what they’re able to produce in the end—the more fruitful the dialogue, the richer the finished product. In this course, students will learn interviewing skills, including how to research and prepare, formulate questions, and ask effective follow-ups, as well as how to transcribe and edit, figure out what the story is, and otherwise make use of the content they glean. In addition to analyzing and discussing interviews and pieces that make use of them, students will practice interviewing on their own and explore different ways of bringing the material they gather to life. By the end, students will develop—and receive feedback on—a written profile or an audio, video, or captioned-photo project that incorporates the interviews they’ve conducted. They will walk away with the skills to interview effectively and the confidence and ability to tell deeper, more compelling stories. (12 hours / All levels)

Please note: This course is offered in an online format and will not meet at CDS but will instead take place in regularly scheduled virtual sessions.

NOTE: There will be NO CLASS on Thursday, October 31.

Christina Cooke is associate editor at the daily food-policy website Civil Eats and a Durham-based freelance journalist who writes about people, place, and culture for venues including the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times, and the Oxford American. Previously, she worked as a staff writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Cooke finds herself drawn to tell stories at the fringes of society, about people who are offbeat and unconventional, passionate and obsessed. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Portland State University and is a graduate of the nonfiction writing program at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. christinacooke.com

Add Section Location Ages Grades Instructor Dates Days Times Fees Details Open
Register Now!
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Cooke 9/26 - 11/7 Th 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $300.00 View

Documenting Life, Briefly: Writing Flash Nonfiction
Flash nonfiction, also called the micro-essay, is an increasingly popular genre for nonfiction writers. It allows for experimentation with form, language, style, and voice in ways that are difficult to sustain in longer essays and memoirs. As well, it allows the writer to home in on a particular memory, experience, or feeling. This workshop will explore what it means to be brief in literature, and how flash nonfiction can, within a narrow word count, capture a time, a feeling, or a place in vivid, resonant language. Participants will read and discuss brief nonfiction to explore the authors’ experiences and emotional responses, focusing on form and craft. With prompts provided by the instructor, students will draft several micro-essays (less than 750 words apiece) based on their own experiences, and their emotional responses to those experiences. We will workshop several of the pieces. (12 hours)

Leslie Maxwell is a writer and teacher living in Durham. Her flash nonfiction has appeared in Juked, Blunderbuss Magazine, The Fourth River, Lockjaw, Cheat River Review, and decomP magazinE. Her other writing has appeared in Rappahannock Review, the News & Observer, Walter, and other publications, and is forthcoming in Fourth Genre. Maxwell holds an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University, where she served as the founding nonfiction co-editor of Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art. Find her online at lesliemaxwell.com.

Add Section Location Ages Grades Instructor Dates Days Times Fees Details Open
Register Now!
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 211
Maxwell 10/21 - 11/25 Mo 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $275.00 View