About this Course
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100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 11 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 11 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

What Can We Learn From Fiction?

In this week, we’ll learn what sorts of techniques we can borrow from fiction and how to overlay them onto our personal stories. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 37 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Give the Readers What They Need, Not Necessarily What They Want7m
How Do I Pick a Subject?3m
I Want to Know What Happens Next7m
Interview with Amy Bloom12m
Week
2
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Train Your Eye Like a Filmmaker

In this week, we’ll learn how to create powerful scenes and vivid details by seeing precisely what we’ve put on the page—and what we haven't. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 38 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Hyper-Vivid Prose4m
I Can See It Perfectly in My Head.... Part 27m
The Inherent Drama of the White Page8m
Interview with Amy Bloom, part 28m
Week
3
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Opening the Story

In this week, we’ll learn how to open and frame a story by examining the efficacy of various first lines. ...
Reading
4 videos (Total 20 min), 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Get Them to the Second Line5m
Does the Second Line Live Up to the First?4m
Before the Opening Line4m
Week
4
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

The Joys and Pitfalls of Dialogue

In this week, we’ll learn when and where to use dialogue, and what makes for the best soundbites. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 25 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
The "Sound" of Dialogue2m
The Unfortunate Limits of Dialogue4m
What We Lose When We Only Speak Aloud5m
Interview with Amy Bloom, part 38m

Instructor

Avatar

Said Sayrafiezadeh

Visiting Scholar
Shapiro Center for Writing

About Wesleyan University

At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit. ...

About the Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself Specialization

How To Write About Yourself...so that someone else wants to read it! This is the heart of this Coursera specialization in Memoir and Personal Essay. Masters of both genres share tips, prompts, exercises, readings and challenges to help every writer imagine, construct and write compelling pieces of non-fiction's most popular form: the personal narrative....
Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.