This workshop is designed for people who have have a story or essay drafted, but want to learn more about how to bring that story to life. How do you tell a good story? How do you write good sentences?
We’ll read great non-fiction narrative and pay close attention to what makes it great. We’ll do writing exercises designed to help us craft better stories using scene, character, dialogue, voice and plot.
The whole point of the workshop is to help us learn how to edit our own work for narrative force, clarity and stylistic energy.
What will we learn? How will we learn?
Participants will be introduced to a variety of writing and editing techniques. We will read short non-fiction pieces, talk about them, and use them as examples, along with other writing prompts, to edit the work of others as well as our own.
Prior to the workshop you’ll be given a maximum of three (3) short readings. During the workshop, you’ll be given a handout with three more readings in it. Readings might include full text or excerpts from:
David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day
Ta-Nahesi Coates, Between the World and Me
Lydia Davis, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
Joan Didion, “Self Respect”
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
Oliver Sacks, Gratitude
Eula Biss, “Goodbye to All That”
Tom Walmsley, “Maxine”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Stephen Osborne, “Mr. Tube Steak and The Schoolteacher”
Cheryl Strayed, “The Love of My Life”
CD Wright, “By Jude Jean McCramack, Goddmanit to Hell Dog’s Foot”
Tobias Wolff, This Boy’s Life
Jo Ann Beard, The Boys of My Youth
Ryan van Meter, “If You Knew Then What I Know Now”
Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon, Gender Failure
Leanne Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love