Upcoming classes: Memoir
TUESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 19—OCTOBER 17 | You have a story to tell about your life, but you don’t know where to begin. The tendency is to start at the beginning and plod along, but that rarely makes for a compelling read. Writing guru William Zinsser suggested starting the process by writing vivid scenes, the moments that have the most emotion, and then slowly letting the memoir take shape in theme and structure. In this class, we will work on those beginning scenes, and over time, see where your memoir is going.
Laura Fraser is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir An Italian Affair, and All Over the Map.→ READ MORE
WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 20—OCTOBER 25 | Looking to get serious about writing, but not sure where to start? Have a great story to tell, and wondering what form it should take – fiction or memoir, poem or news feature? This six-week course introduces the demands and opportunities of various elements of creative writing and journalism as well as the myriad ways one genre can inform another.
We will explore fiction writing, memoir, poetry, news writing, feature writing, and personal essays. Class sessions will be led by experienced writers with extensive and varied backgrounds in professional writing. Each week will feature discussion, focused readings, and writing exercises in a supportive and encouraging environment.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 26—OCTOBER 24 | Whether you’re a journalist, non-fiction writer or a novelist, the interview is one of the most important reporting tools for a writer to obtain information, understand perspectives beyond your own and add dynamism and authenticity to your articles and stories.
In this class, Yukari Kane will share her strategies and tips for getting even the most recalcitrant interviewees to open up. You will hone your interview skills as she takes you through each step in the process from asking and prepping for an interview to conducting the interview and following up.→ READ MORE
THURSDAYS, OCTOBER 5 —NOVEMBER 9 | This workshop is geared toward intermediate to advanced writers who would like to receive regular feedback on their work. Each week’s session will begin with a discussion of a short reading on craft or a few pages from a narrative. Students will then read aloud a few pages of their own work (500 – 1,000 words) and receive constructive feedback from their instructor and peers.
The aim of this workshop is to give participants regular writing deadlines and encouragement as they polish their prose. Your only homework—aside from brief, inspirational readings—will be to write, write, write.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 | Every writer has had the terrifying experience of reading their own work and wondering why a total stranger would be interested. Often, the missing element to successfully lure a reader into your work is plot. Maybe you’ve created a riveting character, yet if nothing is happening on the page, if the protagonist isn’t under any duress, a reader’s attention will wander.
In this seminar, we will examine ways to pace and structure your plot points to extract every drop of excitement from them. We will also do some in-class writing to share with the group.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 | This seminar could also be called Everything You Wanted to Know About Memoir But Were Afraid to Ask. We will discuss the elements that go into a successful memoir, including dramatic storytelling, tension, vivid characters, and clear sense of direction.
We will review the basic building blocks of storytelling – scene, summary and musing, and how to navigate the places where memory fails you. We discuss issues that arise from writing about living people. We will also address the publishing business, including how to increase your chances of finding an agent and getting published.→ READ MORE
SATURDAYS, NOVEMBER 4 & 11 | Point of view is one of the most essential aspects of imaginative writing. Perspective is everything in narration, but writers sometimes choose a narrator without understanding the implications of the choice they’ve made. In the first class, we’ll talk about POV options—the use of first, second, or third person as well as the manipulation of narrative distance and its impact on characterization across the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, and even poetry. We’ll identify common POV “violations” and look at published examples, and we’ll respond to some writing prompts in class to experiment with POV.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12 | The beauty of nonfiction books is that they can frequently be sold on the basis of a 40- to 60-page proposal. What is a proposal? Essentially, it is a business plan for your book – a document that outlines your book’s basic premise, provides data indicating that there’s a sizable audience for it, and otherwise convinces a publisher to give you money to write it. Memoirs, narrative journalism, business books, histories, and biographies can all be sold on proposal.
In this seminar, students will learn the seven components of a book proposal, read examples of proposals that sold, and get the lowdown on the publishing industry – including the best way to find an agent.→ READ MORE