Mon, Jul 25

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Writing Workshops

Writers Workshops - 8-Week Nonfiction Workshop: Writing Memoir & Personal Essay for Publication

The only rule of creative nonfiction is that it must be true, but how do we shape truth into a compelling read? Which parts of the story do we leave out? How do we create a through-line from something as big as a life?

Writers Workshops - 8-Week Nonfiction Workshop: Writing Memoir & Personal Essay for Publication

Time & Location

Jul 25, 12:00 AM – Sep 11, 11:59 PM

Writing Workshops

About the Event

Taught by James Tate Hill, contributing editor for Lit Hub and author of the memoir Blind Man's Bluff (W.W. Norton, 2021), which includes his essay from Prairie Schooner listed among the Notables in Best American Essays 2020.

The only rule of creative nonfiction is that it must be true, but how do we shape truth into a compelling read? Which parts of the story do we leave out? How do we create a through-line from something as big as a life? By examining the myriad questions faced by writers of nonfiction, this course will help you elevate your own stories, obsessions, and struggles into a cohesive manuscript.

Led by Literary Hub contributing editor and Best American Essays 2020 notable essayist James Tate Hill, each week the class will discuss assigned readings by Mary Karr, Phillip Lopate, and a variety of contemporary authors, focusing on the choices made in crafting experience into art. Class participants will turn in their own writing on two occasions, personal essays or memoir excerpts, and receive feedback from the instructor and fellow classmates. Due to sometimes sensitive subject matter, the tone of workshop discussions will be respectful and open minded. No prior creative nonfiction study or workshop experience is required.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate and The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr.

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

  • Discover and develop the basic building blocks of compelling nonfiction
  • Experiment with new techniques to stretch creative skills and voice
  • Receive peer and instructor feedback on two short works

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS:

I took the online nonfiction class with James Tate Hill and I highly recommend it. It allowed me to savor in full the precision and mystery of writing essays. He is an exquisite mentor. The first story I submitted and revised in workshop has already been accepted by a Literary Magazine. I am thrilled I took this class.” -Alan B.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the 8-week class Essays/Memoir class I took from Writing Workshops in 2020. J.T. Hill, the instructor, set a generous tone and gave us interesting and varied reading assignments. The detailed critiques from him (and the other students) on my two manuscripts were worth the price of the workshop. I was able to revise and submit one of the essays to a different, competitive workshop, and I won a spot. I will definitely be taking more classes from Writing Workshops." -Dena D.

"James Tate Hill's 8-week online Writing Memoir and Personal Essay class was top-notch.  His carefully-chosen and varied readings both inspired me to approach my own writing in a new way, and pushed me to go deeper, explore symbolism and find overarching themes--something I hadn't really done since grad school so many years ago.  The participants had a wide range of writing abilities and life experiences, and yet J.T. expertly tailored his critiques to each of us, giving detailed, perceptive and constructive feedback to all of our submissions and comments. He also gave us practical and valuable information regarding submission and publication. I will likely be referring to the notes from this class for the rest of my writing career.  J.T. and Writing Workshops provided us with a semester's worth (or more) of information, at a fraction of the price." -Susanna P.

"I want to thank everyone for such a great experience. This is my first Writing Workshops class, and I'm definitely going to take more this year. I learned a lot from all of the interaction and feedback. I loved reading everyone's work. J.T., you are a great teacher - thank you. Looking forward to more of your instruction!" -Katherine L.

"This was a GREAT class. One reason: JT.  The other: the quality of writing talent in this class. Some amazing pieces were presented. JT's critiques and comments were excellent. I am looking forward to the fiction workshop I am taking next with JT!" -Ben U.

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