Cosmic Zoom: Make Your Writing More Appealing & Important to a Broader Audience

Wednesday, December 29th @ 2 -3 pm Eastern

As writers, we are often told about the importance of “critical distance”—seeing something from far away enough to understand what it means and how it’s working.


Additional Information

The best reportage connects an intimate, local story to a larger issue or trend. A story about one person’s battle with homelessness, for example, can reveal a lot about weaknesses in national infrastructure, cultural indifference to suffering, and the life-saving importance of certain charities. Cosmic Zoom is a way to find critical distance and unearth new possibilities and points-of-view that may be missing from your work.

Cosmic Zoom involves a series of thought and brainstorming sessions (which can involve many notebooks!). What happens if I zoom into the smallest detail here? What’s at play, and what happens if I keep zooming out? More than anything else, Cosmic Zoom is an exercise about scale and stakes—a tool that can help you make your work more appealing and important to a broader audience.

In this webinar, we will:

  • DEFINE “Cosmic zoom” and its importance in the writing process
  • EXAMINE examples from the genre of writing using personal stories as a framing device
  • LEARN effective strategies to find and implement Cosmic Zoom

This webinar is for anyone who wants to connect individual stories to larger ones. There will be writing prompts and a slideshow.

Course Presenter

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Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

Read Success Stories


I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill