Creative nonfiction can encompass a variety of personal essay and memoir styles and sub-genres. In this workshop, we will learn about and experiment with a few select creative nonfiction forms including the flash essay, personal narrative, and the hermit crab essay. We will use writing prompts and discuss craft elements from the books Tell It Slant, co-edited by Brenda Miller and Susanne Antonetta, and The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction, edited by Dinty Moore*. We will read sample texts by marginalized or underrepresented writers and spend time talking about how these writers use different essay forms to grapple with their subject matter. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and discuss a variety of topics including emotional truth vs. factual truth, using research in writing, and cultivating a writing practice. By the end of our time together, participants will have written and received constructive and useful feedback on three essays of their choice. NOTE: A lot of sensitive personal material will (necessarily) be aired in this workshop, and we’ll do our best to create a climate of trust, respect, and confidentiality, but in no way should the class be mistaken for group therapy. Our emphasis will always be on how best to convert experience into language.
*Purchasing these books is not required but recommended.