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Transformational Writing: The Art of the Personal Narrative

Amani-Nzinga Jabbar Mondays, October 3-24
7p-8:30p ET
4p-5:30p PT
4p-5:30p CT
4 class sessions

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From the moment we’re born, until the day we die, we’re undergoing transformations. That’s the beauty of life. And as novelist & activist Toni Cade Bambara once stated, “Writing is one of the ways I participate in transformation.”

Transformative writing is writing that changes you in the process of its creation.

Throughout Transformational Writing: The Art of the Personal Narrative, we will explore the craft of storytelling. What experiences have shaped you into the person you are today? What conflicts have you pushed through? In what ways have these internal or external struggles assisted in your transformation? We will seek to answer these questions artfully and poetically.

In this course, we will reflect upon our own personal transformations, both big and small, and we will turn those experiences into fodder for creative non-fiction works.

We will read & examine writings from figures such as Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, as well as contemporary writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, & Nichole Perkins. We will analyze their work, focusing on their use of the tools of fiction (e.g., character, setting, description & dialogue), and apply these tools to craft our own real-life stories of change, resilience & growth.

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

Meet Your Instructor:
Amani-Nzinga Jabbar 

Amani-Nzinga Jabbar is the author of the novel I Bear Witness. She has also published several essays, articles, and short stories. Her work has appeared in midnight & indigo, Halal Consumer, Muslim Girl, & Azizah Magazine among others. She is a Lecturer of English in Atlanta, and teaches courses in expository writing, comparative literature, and creative writing. A marathoner & mother 3, she believes that words have the power to transform.

Course Takeaways

  • We will use the tools of fiction to craft creative non-fiction works with a focus on transformation, resilience, & growth.

Course Expectations

  • Participants will come away with an understanding of characterization, setting, dialogue & description, and an understanding of how to use those tools and apply them to works of non-fiction.

Course Skeleton

  • Week 1: Characterization
  • Week 2: Setting
  • Week 3: Description
  • Week 4: Dialogue