This MFA "readings" class will explore the present-day terrain of narrative audio against the backdrop of twentieth-century radio greats. What can we as writers learn from encounters with stories in sound—from narrative journalism, to the audio essay, to serial (non)fiction? How can born-audio narratives help us attune ourselves to questions of style, structure, scene, etc. in unexpected ways? And how might we take inspiration from these forms to reimagine the possibilities of our writing, whether it’s for the ear or for the page?
We will approach this course as a workshop in its most elemental sense: a space where things—in our case stories—are produced or created. In this digital studio-based course, we’ll explore how words can be combined with and interpreted through sounds and images to create rich multisensory narratives. Through a mix of discussion, workshops, and hands-on production, you’ll develop skills for translating your writing to emerging digital genres, while considering how your encounters with these media might, in turn, inform or enrich your craft as a writer.
In this course, we’ll explore the contemporary craft of the essay across media. Throughout the semester, you’ll read, listen to, view, and discuss a range of creative multimedia essays—reported Instagram essays, narrative audio essays, lyric video essays—and try out these forms for yourself in a series of original audiovisual writing projects. Class sessions include a blend of discussion, workshops, and hands-on training in media production software from the Adobe Creative Cloud.
With the audio boom sparked by the popular podcast Serial, there has never been a better time to tell stories in sound. In this hybrid workshop/studio course, we’ll explore the rising stream of audio genres—from the “Moth” live story, to the narrative podcast, to the audio fiction revival. Class sessions will include a blend of discussion, workshops, and hands-on training in the technical foundations of audio production. At the end of the course, you’ll come away with a portfolio of original audio stories of your own design and a set of tools for pitching and sharing your work with the world.