Kinda True Stories: Turning Your Life Into Fiction (with Jenny Bitner)

Jenny Bitner




TUESDAYS, APRIL 25—MAY 30  |  Is it true or is it fiction – and does it matter? Often the lines between memoir and fiction can be blurry. And most of great literature has at least some elements of truth in it, from books that are largely autobiographical like Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Chris Kraus’s Aliens and Anorexia to fictional worlds like Raymond Carver’s and Denis Johnson’s that are drawn from a world that could only be created through personal experience.

In this class we will explore memories, experiences, and characters from our own lives and turn them into fictional stories, blending the richness of our emotional and felt experiences with elements from our imagination to create compelling writing. We will have writing prompts, in-class exercises, and reading assignments. This class is primarily a writing workshop, and your work will be discussed twice in the class. You will be expected to read and comment on classmates’ work.

Jenny Bitner’s short stories, articles and flash fiction have been published in Best American Nonrequired Reading, PANK, The Sun, Men’s Health, Utne Reader, The Mississippi Review, Writing That Risks, and Fence magazine. She is working on a memoir and combines autobiographical elements in her fiction. She has an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Virginia.


Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dates: Tuesdays, April 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Course fee: $395

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