Class Starts May 23rd, 2022
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Taught by Jonathan Malesic, an essayist, journalist, and scholar whose writing has been recognized as notable in Best American Essays (2019, 2020, 2021) and Best American Food Writing (2020) and has received special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology (2019). His work has appeared in the New York Times, The New Republic, Washington Post, America, Commonweal, Not
Writing nonfiction about spirituality, whether your own or other people’s, is so rewarding because it is so challenging. It demands that the writer tell the truth about something elusive and often invisible that nevertheless motivates consequential human actions. But like other nonfiction genres, it rests on a foundation of characters, scenes, and the archives of memory, interviews, objects, and written texts. Whether you are religious or spiritual or neither, this class will help you meet the challenge and write more incisive, more inspiring, and more beautiful essays about religious lives.
Each week, we will analyze classic and contemporary spiritual nonfiction from St. Augustine to Meghan O’Gieblyn, to see how the best writers in this genre deal with self-representation, conflict, structure, and other elements of narrative nonfiction. We will also discuss works of craft and criticism to guide the process of writing your own essays. And, most important, we will practice workshop norms of respectful dialog and critique, with the aim of making everyone’s work better through revision. You will have the opportunity to workshop and get instructor feedback on two pieces, up to 4,000 words each. This class is open to beginning students and more experienced writers alike.
ASSIGNED READING: The instructor will provide links to assigned reading material, so you won't need to buy books for this course.
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class is entirely asynchronous which means you complete the weekly assignments on your own schedule. There are no set meeting times in order to allow for greater participation; your cohort will consist of writers from across different time zones, which allows for a wonderful diversity of voices.
Along with your weekly deadlines there is plenty of interaction with Jon and your peers within Wet Ink, our dedicated online classroom. Craft materials, lectures, reading assignments, and writing prompts are all available through the online classroom. Students also post work and provide and receive feedback within the online classroom environment.
You can get the work done as you see fit week-to-week, so it is perfect for any schedule. There are discussion questions each week inspired by the assigned readings and topics in the lecture notes. Students are encouraged to take these wherever is most compelling and/or useful for them. Jon engages with these discussions throughout the week and you will receive feedback from all assigned writing activities.
HOW DOES WET INK WORK?
Wet Ink was built and designed specifically for online writing classes. Wet Ink is private, easy to use, and very interactive. You can learn more about the Wet Ink platform by Watching a Class Demo.Danielle Morvan interviewed Jon for a meaningful and insightful conversation on the role of work and spirituality, avoiding burnout as a writer, and what students can expect to learn in Jon's upcoming spiritual nonfiction course.
Instructor: Jonathan Malesic
Class size limited to 9 writers
Class starts May 23, 2022
Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.
Instructor Jonathan Malesic is an essayist, journalist, and scholar whose writing has been recognized as notable in Best American Essays (2019, 2020, 2021) and Best American Food Writing (2020) and has received special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology (2019). His work has appeared in the New York Times, The New Republic, Washington Post, America, Commonweal, Not