Many researchers and academics would love to find ways to make their research interests more readily accessible to broader audiences, but often don’t know where and how to begin. This one-day seminar will offer the tools scholars of any level might need to turn their research into compelling pieces of creative nonfiction.
Class include an interactive lecture on everything from how to brainstorm ideas for essays, shaping them into pitches, personalizing a list of potential publications and editors to submit to, and the elements of a captivating research-inspired essay. We will also do exercises to develop your own strategies for publishing and developing topics for essays as well as devote time to drafting and getting verbal feedback from the class on at least one pitch. There will be a small amount of pre-reading required for class—three research inspired CNF essays—but we will spend most of our time preparing you to dip your toes into the wonderful world of public-facing writing.
Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features.
- The necessary tools to turn your research into rewarding CNF
- A collaborative resource guide for who to pitch
- Time to brainstorm and workshop both ideas and draft pitches with the class
- Option to request brief written feedback from the instructor on an essay of ~2,000 words from the instructor (This opportunity is an add-on to class; students can pay $35 and can email [email protected] to set up, based on instructor availability)
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Students should read the three assigned CNF pieces prior to class time and should come to class prepared to discuss. In addition, there will be in-class exercises and students will be divided into small breakout groups to complete a pitch workshop; students should come prepared with a draft of a pitch. The goal of the workshop will be to help refine it.
Hour 1 (50 minutes): Interactive lecture on the foundations of research inspired creative non-fiction (brainstorming, developing pitches, finding editors and publications to pitch, crafting an essay)
BREAK (10 minutes)
Hour 2 (50 minutes): Guided exercises for brainstorming and outlining/developing a pitch to take away.
BEAK (10 minutes)
Hour 3 (25 minutes): Small group workshop on pitches/(25 minutes): Last Q&A with instructor
Ravynn K. Stringfield is an American Studies Ph.D. candidate at William & Mary. Her research centers Black women and girls in new media fantasy narratives. She is also a blogger, essayist and novelist. Ravynn's work has been featured in Catapult, ZORA, Shondaland, Voyage YA Journal and midnight & indigo. For more about her, visit her website, ravynnkstringfield.com, or follow her on Twitter: @RavynnKaMia.
"Professor Stringfield is a wonderful professor. She is clear in her expectations of coursework and is available to meet with students. She communicates clearly and molds coursework to match the interests of students. Her teaching style is informative and engaging. She is by far one of the best professors I have had."
"Ravynn's writing is so compelling and realistic. I not only feel transported and as if I am with the character, but I feel seen. Through Ravynn, I am finally able to fully relate to character's and their issues completely and wholeheartedly which has made reading a completely different experience for me."
"Ravynn’s writing not only explores fantastic Black girls in flight, but makes us believe that we (Black girls) can indeed fly! Each and every word she writes is full of love, possibility, and magic, and anyone who reads her words is better for them."
"Ravynn has consistently given me some of the most thoughtful and impactful notes on my dramatic work across mediums. Her knowledge of writing as a craft and Black Girlhood as an area of study transcends discipline and allows me to see my own work with clarity, specificity, and hope"