Nonfiction Course

I’ll be teaching a new nonfiction course, “Nonfiction Series for the Weekend Student” at Simon Fraser University beginning in January. It’s six Saturdays, and is open to anyone interested in working on their nonfiction writing ability. Below is a partial description of the course; hope to see some of you there.

Non-fiction writing at its best is about storytelling, probing the deeply personal and the profoundly incomprehensible questions: who are we, why are we here, what boundaries define and limit our human activities, where do our responsibilities lie?
In this intensive course, we will explore strategies and tools to craft effective non-fiction pieces for newspapers, magazines, blogs and books.
The course will be hands-on, interactive and participatory, including reading and analysis of a broad range of non-fiction writing, exercises to expand your non-fiction toolbox, workshop opportunities to give and receive feedback and an in-depth consultation with the instructor to review an edited submission of your writing and discuss how to move towards publication.

What will I learn?

Explore a range of non-fiction genres, including:
-feature magazine articles
-personal memoir
-newspaper commentary
-full-length books
-and others
Construct and develop a compelling narrative for your work
Adopt the mantras of non-fiction writers: brevity, clarity, focus and impact
Work on first paragraphs that draw in readers
Personalize your non-fiction to include your own experience
Identify your audience
Learn how to concentrate on critical detail
Give, and receive, feedback
Develop strategies for non-fiction publication

About the instructor
Mark Winston

Mark L. Winston is the recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction for his bestselling book Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive. His work has appeared in six books receiving diverse awards, including the 2015 Science in Society General Book Award from the Canadian Science Writers Association, a CBC Best Books Award (for Bee Time) and the Sterling Prize for Controversy. His 1998 book Nature Wars was also short-listed for the BP Natural World Book Prize. He has written for many outlets, including columns for the Vancouver Sun, The New York Times, The Sciences and Orion, among others. Mark is a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, a professor and senior fellow in Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, and a professor of biological sciences.