New Class!
Special Topics in Nonfiction

The Art of Speculation in Nonfiction

Friday, October 16th, 10:30am-1:30pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Readers of nonfiction rightfully expect honesty and accuracy, but writers of nonfiction often have limited access to the facts. Some writers fabricate, to disastrous results—lawsuits, shame—while others confine themselves to what they know for sure and their work lacks color and depth.

In this workshop we'll explore how writers, especially memoirists, can avoid both of these pitfalls by speculating ethically. We'll examine how some excellent writers use what Lisa Knopp calls “perhapsing,” when their memories are absent or hazy, when their research leaves gaps, or when they're having trouble understanding human behavior. We’ll then experiment with ways to do this ourselves.

Come to class prepared to work on one or two of your paragraphs that feel underdeveloped because you can’t remember or just don’t know what happened. The goal is to leave with a keener understanding of how to expand and enrich your writing while maintaining integrity and your readers’ trust. Open to all levels.

Part of GrubStreet's Special Topics in Nonfiction, a group of classes dedicated to exploring different craft elements of creative nonfiction. For more class offerings, click here.

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Leslie Lawrence
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion
  • In-Class Writing
  • Craft Lessons


  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction

Commitment Level



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