New Class!

Writing Toward Fear: Finding the Truth in What Scares Us

Friday, October 31st, 10:30am-1:30pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
13 seats max
Only 3 spots left!

Some of the most fascinating—and most honest—essays and memoirs involve writers confronting their fears on the page. Writers may write to unpack and come to terms with their fears, as in Daniel Smith’s Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety, Domenica Ruta’s With or Without You, or Jerald Walker’s essay My Fear of the South. Sometimes the author’s worst fears have already been realized: Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Wickersham’s The Suicide Index, Gregory Orr’s The Blessing. Whether nagging or crippling, immediate or irrational, fear is a primal emotion that is always very near to our core selves. It can be a driving force in our lives—even a positive one—as often as it stifles or sabotages us. It can show us what we’re most afraid of losing, or gaining.

In this seminar, we’ll look at ways in which fear (interpreted broadly: from mild phobias to chronic anxiety to existential dread) can be explored, analyzed, and harnessed in your writing. By reading and discussing excerpts, doing writing exercises, and sharing in-class work, we’ll examine how writing toward your fears can allow flashes of clarity and help you find the heart of your story. While many texts highlighted in the class will be nonfiction, topics and techniques covered are useful for fiction writers, too.       

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Dorian Fox
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Previous Students Say

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


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Lecture
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction

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