Upcoming classes: Nonfiction
WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 10—24 | For a freelance journalist, essayist, nonfiction writer, or marketing professional, a good pitch letter can not only generate work but open doors, build new relationships, and kickstart a career. But crafting the best pitch, targeting it to the right publication, and getting it in front of the right person isn’t always simple.
In this class, you’ll gain new insights into what editors are looking for and why, and learn new ways to make your pitch letters as compelling as possible. Each class will include tips on sharpening your story ideas and presenting them to editors, as well as workshopping of student pitches.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, APRIL 13 | For some writers, first drafts are the fun part. Anything is possible! After that, revision is often overwhelming. It can be challenging to know how to improve a piece of writing. But it is also fun and rewarding, especially when broken down into manageable components.
Come to this one-day revision bootcamp with your manuscript (up to 10 pages of either fiction or creative nonfiction) and you’ll go through a series of timed stations, examining and working on your pages from a wide angle and up close. Learn how to focus on just one element at a time: dialogue, character emotions, sensory details, plotting, time elements, a title brainstorm and more.→ READ MORE
MONDAYS, APRIL 29 —JUNE 3 | All levels welcome! Need some structure and community to keep writing? If you’re looking to generate pages and gain insight into your project – whether fiction, memoir, personal essay, narrative nonfiction, or some combination thereof – set aside five Monday evenings this winter. You’ll find a supportive community designed to foster productivity and good writing habits. We’ll address specific craft issues as they come up, and I will be available for meeting one-on-one. You’ll have the opportunity to meet in small groups for feedback (with specific guidance), if you choose.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, APRIL 30 —MAY 28 | In this class, you’ll learn how to unlock the secrets of great personal essays and apply them to your own writing. The class combines close reading of outstanding essays past and present with focused workshopping in each session. We will get at the heart of what makes a great personal essay tick, and see how those principles can be applied to the work students bring to class. Each class will open with a discussion of an assigned essay and/or essays students have discovered in their reading, then move into workshopping.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, MAY 4 | Why do some memoirs take off from the first page, while others stall out before the end of chapter one? More importantly: How can you make sure the memoir you’re writing gets all the necessary gears lined up on those all-important first ten pages?
In this combination craft lecture and trouble-shooting workshop, you’ll learn the three Cs of narrative engine: Character, Conflict, and Clock. What’s clock, you say? Glad you asked. It’s a simple but elusive element that’s crucial to your story’s drive—but many memoir writers don’t realize their pages are missing it.→ READ MORE
THURSDAYS, MAY 9 —JUNE 13 | Everyone has a story! But how do we mine the material of our lives to craft compelling narratives? In this class, we will practice in-class exercises aimed at accessing memory, creating moving, authentic characters through dialogue and physical detail, and shaping our tumble of memories into compelling, forward moving stories. We’ll discuss finding the balance between revealing and protecting family members and ownership of our material. We’ll workshop our stories and look at published authors writing in this genre. Suitable for beginners or any student wishing to focus on life material.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, MAY 11 | “Flat” writing hands off lifeless information in a two-dimensional exchange between reader and writer. Three-dimensional writing places the reader in a charged space of heightened experience, renewed perspective, and active meaning-making. How is that three-dimensionality created, and what do you do when you find your language stuck in 2-D? This combination lecture and workshop for writers of fiction and literary nonfiction examines specific strategies for three-dimensionality drawn from contemporary writers like Sheila Heti, Jo Ann Beard, and Maggie Nelson, and classics by Marguerite Duras and Bruno Schulz. We will try out new techniques and tricks—but ultimately what you will achieve is a shift in consciousness that will help make your writing spacious and transporting.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, JUNE 2 | Whether you’ve always dreamed of writing professionally, you already do, or you’d like to figure out how to create better content for your job or business, this class will improve your writing in one day – guaranteed! After some coffee, we’ll start off with Story and Structure in the morning. This will help you start the writing process: from getting over writers’ block, understanding your audience and purpose, doing research, brainstorming ,and creating an outline so that your writing is engaging, logical, smooth, and satisfying to the reader. We’ll also remind you of stuff you should’ve learned in high school but may have forgotten: how to avoid the dreaded passive voice, weak verbs, excess verbiage, and a corporate or academic tone.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, JUNE 9 | Michel de Montaigne, perhaps the father of the personal essay, wrote, “I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.” That sums up the personal essay — identifying the monster within and transforming it into something miraculous. Whether it’s a small realization or a dramatic triumph over tragedy, the personal essay takes the reader on a journey where the writer — and reader — come out different on the other side. This day-long class will teach you the basics of writing essays about your life, and you’ll finish the class (miracle!) with an outline for an essay of your own.