Upcoming classes: Nonfiction

Mary Ladd




TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25  | We’ll read from the masters, Oliver Sacks and Joan Didion, and do our own generative short exercises to explore how to find points of entry into personal experiences of loss.

  • All writing levels and genres welcome.
  • The writing you create in the class will help kick start your writing process and give you tools for processing your grief.
  • As a seriously ill patient as well as a caregiver for my mom, I channeled my grief into a book project and writing assignments (to help pay the bills and avoid going crazy) – often using humor.

Rachel Howard




SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29  |  “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.


Anisse Gross




SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30  |  Breaking into the world of freelance writing can seem mysterious and downright impossible at the outset. How will you make enough money? If you currently have a job, how do you transition into full-time freelancing? When can you take the plunge? Where will you find clients? How will you successfully pitch to publications, especially if you don’t have a portfolio?

It took me several years of pitfalls, wrong turns, financial struggling, over-caffeinated meltdowns, and learning on the job to successfully make it as a freelance writer. In this one-day bootcamp, I will teach you the fundamentals of how to successfully begin freelancing for a variety of publications including magazines, newspapers, websites, and other forms of paid writing and editing work.


Mark Wallace




TUESDAYS, OCTOBER 2 & 9  |  Whether it’s a love letter, a business or book proposal, an opinion piece, or a sales pitch, persuasive writing is a big part of our lives. Yet we so often shy away from putting language to work for us in these contexts, or fail to take advantage of simple techniques that can make this kind of writing more effective.

In this two-part class, we’ll look at ways your writing can help do the job of persuasion, whether in a personal, a professional, or a social context. We’ll look at famous love letters, including Napoleon’s and Frida Kahlo’s, and extract lessons from some of the best known persuasive speeches and other texts throughout history.


Julia Scheeres




THURSDAYS, OCTOBER 4 —NOVEMBER 15  |  How do we grab the attention of our readers and pull them into our stories? By imbuing our pages with a raw humanity that elicits a deep emotional response in them. A finely crafted opening will keep the reader turning pages, curious about the fate of our characters or subject matter.

Your first pages set the stage for the rest of your book. What works? Masterful storytelling. Strong characters. Artful language. Tension. Drama. A clear sense of theme and direction. A mystery. Elements that keep readers hooked, eager to know more.


Carla Walter




WEEKENDS, OCTOBER 13-14 & 20-21  |  Are you a seeker with existential experiences and questions to phrase or interpret? Have you had a spiritual experience that has moved or changed you? Do you want to write a story about your transformation through a significant emotional event? In this workshop, you’ll get that chance! You’ll unveil, identify, and select the important steps of your journey that you wish to write about.

In this workshop, I will provide an overview of methods used to write about the spiritual journey. This will include memoir, travel writing, personal essay, letter, creative nonfiction, fiction, and short story.


Laura Fraser




TUESDAYS, OCTOBER 16 —NOVEMBER 13  |  This intimate class is for writers who are in the midst of a project, whether personal essay, memoir, creative nonfiction, or magazine feature. We’ll help you take your work to the next level and aim for a publishable piece. The class will be designed to work on students’ pain points, whether structure (okay, almost always structure), writing process and goals, voice, style, clarity, etc. You should come to the first class with up to 1200 words of a piece, an outline, a book proposal, or whatever you’re working on, so we can dive right in.


Kristen Kaye




SATURDAYS, OCTOBER 20 & 27  |  Nature writing gives us wings with which to soar, peaks to summit and insight into the cycles of life. But it can feel so damn far away from the day-to-day realities of city living. Join author Kristin Kaye in a wild plunge into the complexities of concrete landscapes. We will explore the terrain of Nature Writing and juxtapose the gift of a vast expanse with the mash-up of city streets, random trees and parks that are squeezed into city blocks. We will read together, explore essay form and consider the gift, or lack, of green and wildlife in different settings.


Rachel Howard




SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17  |  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 five 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.



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