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Writing About Social Issues: Writing with Conscience with Kavita Das

26 October 2023

The current fraught socio-political climate is motivating nonfiction writers to engage with social issues on the page. There’s a collective realization that the personal is political, and the political is personal. In truth, the writer has long played a role as a witness, conscience, and predictor of social change

In this six-week class, we will consider the following questions: How do we write compellingly yet responsibly about social issues? How do we write about the world as we’d like it to be without coming across as Pollyanna or propaganda?

In each class session, we will investigate these questions through lessons and reflections from my own experience as a writer who has written about and worked in social change. We’ll also explore these questions through close readings and discussions of work by writers which engage social issues and parse their relevance and application to our own work through creative writing exercises and assignments.

Course overview

Some of the topics we’ll cover during the workshop:

  • Motivations for writing about social issues
  • Avoiding sensationalism, stereotypes, and bias
  • Relationship between writer, reader, and subject
  • Understanding the balance between context versus narrative
  • Writing from observation and experience, writing from research, and writing from opinion
  • Different levels of research
  • Considering the implications of your work out in the world

Writers will leave with more grounding in how to write compellingly about complex social issues with nuance and sensitivity.


Once a week from 26 October to 7 December 2023 (6 sessions)

Click here for all the information.


Online via Zoom


The Center for Fiction
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