Course Duration: 6 weeks

Instructor: Shawna Ayoub

Course Description: This six-week course delves into the transformative power of expressive writing, with a specific emphasis on crafting true and difficult stories. Participants will explore how expressive writing serves as a therapeutic outlet for release and recovery. Through engaging readings, interactive discussions, and hands-on writing exercises, students will develop the skills needed to articulate and navigate personal and challenging narratives.

Week 1: Introduction to Expressive Writing

  • Overview of expressive writing as a tool for emotional expression
  • Understanding the psychological benefits of expressive writing
  • In-class writing exercises to initiate the creative process
  • Introduction to ethical considerations in writing difficult stories

Week 2: Exploring Personal Narratives

  • Analyzing examples of true and difficult stories across genres
  • Techniques for developing authenticity and vulnerability in writing
  • Peer review sessions for constructive feedback
  • Weekly writing assignment: Crafting a personal narrative opening

Week 3: Narrative Structure and Voice

  • Understanding the importance of structure in storytelling
  • Exploring narrative voice and point of view
  • In-class exercises on experimenting with different narrative styles
  • Developing individual writing styles

Week 4: Confronting Challenges in Writing

  • Addressing emotional challenges in writing difficult stories
  • Strategies for self-care and managing emotional well-being
  • Peer support and sharing coping mechanisms
  • Weekly writing assignment: Navigating through challenging aspects of personal narratives

Week 5: Revising and Refining Stories

  • Techniques for revising and editing personal narratives
  • Workshop-style sessions for peer feedback and revision
  • Polishing writing style and refining narrative elements
  • Weekly writing assignment: Revised draft of personal narrative

Week 6: Sharing and Reflection

  • Creating a supportive environment for sharing personal narratives
  • Strategies for providing constructive feedback in a workshop setting
  • Reflecting on the writing journey and setting future writing goals
  • Finalizing and sharing personal narratives

Required Materials:

  • Writing materials (notebooks, pens, etc.)
  • Selected readings provided by the instructor
  • Access to a computer or writing device for drafting and editing assignments

Note: This syllabus is subject to adjustments at the discretion of the instructor. Students are encouraged to actively participate in class discussions and seek feedback on their writing throughout the course.