Creative Nonfiction - Writing Medical Narratives - 12-week Online Course

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This twelve-week online class will guide all types of medical professionals (doctors, nurses, researchers, aides, social workers, etc.) through the various skills needed to write and publish narratives--personal stories of their experiences (and those of others in the field). We will cover every step in the writing process, from brainstorming to researching to writing to revising, as well as the steps needed to pitch and publish an article or essay.
Our instructors--experienced writers of medical narratives and creative nonfiction--will communicate with participants through a combination of written lectures, written feedback, and email. In addition, the class will include three 1-hour phone conferences. Speakers will be Manoj Jain, Jason Lewis, and Ellen Ficklen.

# Registration includes a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction.

# Save $25 anytime when you register with a friend.

For registration please contact, online course coordinator Anjali Sachdeva at sachdeva@creativenonfiction.org or visit http://goo.gl/De2uQ

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Creative Nonfiction - Writing Medical Narratives - 12-week Online Course

  1. 1. Writing Medical Narratives New 12-Week Online Coursewww.CreativeNonfiction.org
  2. 2. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseOverviewThis twelve-week online class will guide all types of medical professionals(doctors, nurses, researchers, aides, social workers, etc.) through the variousskills needed to write and publish narratives--personal stories of theirexperiences (and those of others in the field). We will cover every step in thewriting process, from brainstorming to researching to writing to revising, as wellas the steps needed to pitch and publish an article or essay.Our instructors--experienced writers of medical narratives and creativenonfiction--will communicate with participants through a combination of writtenlectures, written feedback, and email. In addition, the class will include three 1-hour phone conferences. Speakers will be Manoj Jain, Jason Lewis, and EllenFicklen.Other Online CoursesWriting the Personal EssayAdvanced Memoir and Personal EssayNarrative JournalismFoundations of Creative Nonfiction www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  3. 3. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  4. 4. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 1: What is creative nonfiction?This week we’ll explore the basic questions that drive this genre of writing: Whatis creative nonfiction? What are medical narratives, and why do we need them?Hospitals and medical schools around the world are beginning to recognize thepower of narrative to inform, motivate, and teach. Every medical study has itsown story. How do we find the difference between the story and the study? Howdo we make this story into a compelling piece of writing? The first live chat forthe class will take place during this week. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  5. 5. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 2: Reading like a writerMost writers read for pleasure a great deal, and medical professionals read tokeep current on the latest advances in medicine. But reading like a writer is adifferent skill, one that will allow you to take a piece of creative writing andunderstand how the author constructed it, then apply that knowledge to yourown work. During this week we’ll dissect two different types of medicalnarratives: short pieces, such as might be found in a national newspaper, andlonger, more involved narratives such as those featured in Creative Nonfiction,The New Yorker, and other long-format magazines. Participants will learn thebasic structure and components of these articles and how to weave themtogether. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  6. 6. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 3: Shaping your narrativeYou may not know how to take the experiences from your career that haveaffected you deeply and shape them into a defined narrative—a story or plotthat drives your writing and keeps a reader’s interest. The materials from thisweek will guide participants as they turn one or more personal experiences intoa narrative piece of writing. During this week participants will also submit theirassignment, an essay or newspaper article of up to 3,500 words, to theinstructor for review. Participants will also have the option to share their workwith other class members for peer review. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  7. 7. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 4: The people at the heart of the narrativeMedical narratives are usually first and foremost stories about people, so helpingyour readers to care about the people in your writing is an important element ofcreating an effective narrative. During this week we’ll discuss writing techniquesto help portray the complexity and humanity of the subjects in your writing. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  8. 8. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 5: Incorporating ResearchWhile you want your writing to have a strong narrative drive, you’ll also want tomake use of your expertise and include medical, scientific, and/or professionalinformation in this larger narrative structure. This week we’ll talk about how toincorporate scientific studies, statistics, scholarly quotes, and your personalknowledge into your narrative writing. We’ll also discuss how to find additionalinformation through research, either by contacting expert sources or by lookingfor reliable information on the internet. Participants will submit their secondassignment, an essay or newspaper article of up to 3,500 words, to theinstructor for review during this week, and will also have the option to sharetheir work for peer review. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  9. 9. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 6: Using detail effectivelyUsing specific and evocative detail is the key to creating a narrative that feels“real” to the reader, and that therefore holds the reader’s interest. During thisweek we’ll discuss how to use detail to create more convincing and movingwriting. We will also explore ways to describe the more technical processes ofthe medical world in layman’s terms. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  10. 10. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 7: Incorporating a themeA good narrative must be more than a series of facts, and even more than aninteresting series of events—it must encapsulate some larger idea or meaningthat will move the reader to emote, think, and act. This week we’ll discuss waysto emphasize existing themes in your writing, in an effort to create narrativesthat readers from a wide variety of backgrounds can identify with, and to sharethe insights you have that have not been captured in the print and web mediabefore. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  11. 11. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 8: Writing a pitchTaking the first step toward publication can be intimidating, so during this weekwe’ll tackle that challenge as a group. The class materials will discuss how towrite a formal pitch for a nonfiction piece that can be submitted to an editor,and then how and where to send those pitches. Each student will write a pitchand submit it to an editor for consideration at the end of the week. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  12. 12. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 9: Ethical and legal concernsEthical concerns about accuracy, privacy, and bias apply to all creative nonfictionwriters, but are particularly important in medical writing, where patients’ rightsare a special concern. In this class we’ll review HIPPA and other legal guidelinesfor writing about patients and clients. We’ll also discuss some of the commonethical quandaries that arise when writing about other people, and various waysto present the lives of these people in your writing. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  13. 13. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 10: Your writing and revision processThe process of taking a piece of writing from initial inspiration through drafts toa finished product differs for each writer. This week we’ll discuss someapproaches to brainstorming, drafting, and revising that will help participantscraft a plan for their own best practices. We will also briefly discuss how to workwith an editor after you’ve created a polished draft. Participants will submit theirthird and final assignment, a piece of writing up to 3,500 words, during thisweek. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  14. 14. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 11: How to write in medicine without losing your jobSometimes we as writers feel bold as we put our initial thoughts down on paper,but lose courage when it comes time to share or publish a piece. In this classwe’ll focus on methods for writers who need to feel more comfortable withpublicizing their opinions. We’ll also consider ways to write about controversialsubjects without infuriating your opposition or jeopardizing your professionalintegrity. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  15. 15. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseWeek 12: Publishing and marketing your workThis week will be devoted to steps for building a presence as a writer andmarketing and publishing your work. We’ll discuss best practices for submittingwork for publication. We’ll also explore other ways to create a publishingplatform and market your ideas, via websites, blogs, and other methods www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  16. 16. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseAbout the InstructorsManoj Jain, MD MPH is an infectious disease physician, a writer, and a nationalleader in healthcare quality improvement. Dr. Jain writes regularly for theWashington Post, and the Commercial Appeal (Memphis newspaper). Hiswritings also appear in the New York Times and the Times of India. He receivedhis engineering, doctorate, and public health degree from Boston University. Hehas served as a consultant to the World Bank on HIV, and has been interviewedby CNN, and National Public Radio. Over the past 15 years Dr. Jain has given overa 150 talks, and published numerous scientific articles, chapters and books. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  17. 17. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseAbout the InstructorsTheresa Brown, RN, is the author of Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life,and Everything in Between (HarperStudio, 2010). She received her BSN from theUniversity of Pittsburgh and a PhD in English from the University of Chicago.Brown is a regular contributor to the New York Times blog “Well.” Her essay“Perhaps Death is Proud; More Reason to Savor Life” is included in BestAmerican Science Writing 2009 and Best American Medical Writing 2009.Theresa is a Board Member of the Center for Health Media and Policy at theBellevue School of Nursing at Hunter College. She is also an Advisory BoardMember for Scrubs Magazine, which won the 2010 Maggie Award for Best NewPublication from the Western Publishing Association. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  18. 18. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseAbout the InstructorsSayantani DasGupta, MD, MPH is an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics anda core faculty member of the Program in Narrative Medicine at ColumbiaUniversity. She also teaches in the graduate program in Health Advocacy at SarahLawrence College, and is a prose faculty member in the summer writingconference Writing the Medical Experience at Sarah Lawrence College. Dr.DasGupta is author of Her Own Medicine: A Womans Journey from Student toDoctor (1999), and co-editor of Stories of Illness and Healing: Women WriteTheir Bodies (2007). Her work has appeared in journals including The Lancet,JAMA, and The Journal of Medical Humanities, and her essay “Intern” is includedin the anthology Becoming a Doctor. She is an associate editor of the journalLiterature and Medicine. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  19. 19. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseAbout the InstructorsJason T. Lewis directs the Writing and Humanities program at the University ofIowa’s Carver College of Medicine. He is the managing editor of the university’smedical narrative publication, the Examined Life Journal, and the author of thenovel The Fourteenth Colony. Lewis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  20. 20. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseAbout the InstructorsEllen Ficklen is a senior editor at Health Affairs, where she is the editor ofNarrative Matters, the journal’s first-person essay section. She is a co-editor of"Narrative Matters: The Power of the Personal Essay in Health Policy," publishedby Johns Hopkins University Press. Previously Ellen held a number of editorialpositions and has written widely, including articles for the Washington Post, theNew York Times, USA Weekend, the Baltimore Sun, the Chronicle of HigherEducation, Saveur, and Preservation. She also has produced editorial projects forthe National Geographic Society, American Rivers, and National Public Radio.Ellen has an M.A. in writing (nonfiction) from Johns Hopkins University www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  21. 21. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseParticipants Feedback (previous online classes)David ReynoldsThe teachers feedback as well as some from the students has been really helpful. Its obvious shesstudied it a lot and has good ideas. Ive enjoyed most of the readings too. The interview with GayTalese was really interesting and I never would have seen the Paris review if not for the class. I guessmy only suggestion for improvement would be more study of different types of structures, althoughmaybe thats coming later in the class.Jamie BabcockThe feedback, both the instructors and the peer review, is very helpful. Giving feedback to peersreally helps me think critically about not only their writing, but my own as well. I particularlyappreciated the safe environment created in the class. I was supported in my novice attempts atwriting by both the instructor and my classmates. The readings were one of the highlights. I amhungry for more great nonfiction writing.Marion LaneParticularly liked the assignments and the readings and lecture in preparation for the assignments;liked trying new techniques; and liked getting really good feedback from the instructor and generallywell-qualified classmates. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  22. 22. Writing Medical Narratives - New 12-Week Online CourseParticipants Feedback (previous online classes)Gene Pepper I liked everything about the two classes I took. The Immersion Class coming after the Personal Essayclass will help me for the rest of my life, to know how to dig down in my research in writing betterstories and essays. I think Leslie [instructor] did a marvelous job working with me. She and Anjali[instructor] have helped prepare me for my MFA studies starting in one week.Anne Hodges White Liked: Anjalis [instructor] lectures -- well written, thoughtful, comprehensive, very helpful; thereadings - I was introduced to writers I hadnt read, methods I didnt know; Anjalis critiques --thorough, thoughtful, intelligent, and creative. Shes a real pro.Gene WilburnI liked the readings and discussion of the readings, and I especially liked the assignments. I liked thatyou could either follow the suggested assignment, or substitute one of your own. The peer reviewswere helpful and the instructor feedback was excellent. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  23. 23. RegistrationFor registration please contact, online course coordinator AnjaliSachdeva at sachdeva@creativenonfiction.org or visithttp://www.CreativeNonfiction.orgSave $25 anytime when you register with a friend.Registration includes a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction. www.CreativeNonfiction.org
  24. 24. Other Online CoursesWriting the Personal EssayAdvanced Memoir and Personal EssayNarrative JournalismFoundations of Creative NonfictionFor registration please contact, online course coordinator AnjaliSachdeva at sachdeva@creativenonfiction.org or visithttp://www.CreativeNonfiction.org www.CreativeNonfiction.org

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