Despicable Me: The Self as Antihero in Creative Nonfiction

Saturday, April 13th, from 10:00am-5:00pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Literary heroes have their appeal, sure. But the most interesting characters aren’t the heroes. They are, like most of us, deeply complex and contradictory—loving yet spiteful, magnanimous yet selfish. One need think only of Scarlett O’Hara, Holden Caulfield, or Jay Gatsby to conjure examples of characters who act despicably yet elicit our compassion: the antiheroes. In creative nonfiction, especially in the personal essay or memoir, the stakes are especially high. How do we expose unseemly or “weak” aspects of our own personality and still remain likeable? In this workshop, we will look at some excerpts from the essays of Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, Steve Almond, and Roxane Gay, who have written prolifically about their miserable failures and contemptible habits. Through discussion and in-class exercises throughout the day, we will rattle the cage surrounding our own flaws and vulnerabilities, with the goal of creating powerful, accessible first-person prose.

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Deborah Sosin
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  • Class Discussion
  • Instructor Feedback
  • In-Class Writing
  • Lecture
  • Craft Lessons


  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction

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