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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Here and Gone: Writing About Moments You Missed

No Longer Enrolling

  • $65.00 Non-Member
  • $55.00 Member

Class Description

As a memoirist or essayist, you sometimes need to reconstruct scenes in which you played a passive role or from which you were altogether absent. Maybe your project requires that you imagine your grandfather’s experience of World War II, muse on the hidden habits of a sibling, or trace your parents’ marriage to a time before you were born. The truth is, our lives are deeply affected by things that happen elsewhere, in another room or city, outside of our direct experience. These “offstage” events can provide rich fodder for your narrative. What’s more, imagining yourself into critical scenes that you did not witness or participate in directly can lead to strong moments of empathy, surprise, and self-discovery in your writing. This course will present techniques writers use to do just that while exploring the challenges that working from secondhand or indirect knowledge inevitably poses. We’ll read excerpts by memoirists who write themselves palpably and searchingly into their own absences, and we’ll do writing exercises to stretch our imaginations beyond what we’ve seen, done, and felt. Equally useful for writers hatching new nonfiction projects or in the thick of longer drafts.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!