This workshop will explore the question: What makes a stranger take interest in my experiences, thoughts, feelings, joys, sorrows, musings, and confusions? The essay and the memoir are gifts to readers, a lens to know consciously what previously had only been known subconsciously. One goal in this workshop will be to demonstrate that effective personal essay and memoir writing do not center themselves in confession but rather in self-examination. Such self-examination then invites readers to immerse themselves in their own self-inquiry, which allows them to personally experience the text. In this workshop we will interrogate our own experiences to find our own particulars through which we might offer the universal, and then determine how best to construct from them engaging narrative arcs. We will also learn to make use of tools from the fiction writer’s toolbox such as imagery, sensory detail, diction, and syntax in order to explore creating tone and theme in our nonfiction writing.
In the first session, we will read and discuss a few short essays and excerpts to determine what is working, as well as spend time brainstorming ideas based on a series of writing prompts. The remaining sessions, we will study and annotate a mentor text and workshop our essays. Workshop participants will be invited to prepare an essay or the start of a memoir and will receive written feedback from attending writers and the instructor.
TIME: Four Sundays, August 13th, August 20th, August 27th, September 10th, 3-6 PM
PRICE: Early-Bird until Tuesday, August 8th: $150 for members, $180 for non-members; After August 8th: $180 for members, $210 for non-members
LEVEL: All Levels
CAP: Limited to 12 Writers