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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)
  • 9 Weeks

Unflinching Nonfiction: Writing Our Worst Experiences

No Longer Enrolling

  • $620.00 Non-Member
  • $595.00 Member

Class Description

As writers and artists, our worst experiences can be generative: humiliations, betrayals, tragedies, and traumas have always been the subjects of great art. The hardest stories can be the most important ones to tell honestly, as a service to others who may share similar histories. This class is designed as a supportive space for students of all levels and backgrounds to write essays, memoir, or literary journalism about challenging experiences. In addition to workshopping student writing, we will read essays and memoir excerpts that offer strategies for shaping and containing a difficult story, by writers who may include David Carr, Eliese Colette Goldbach, Kiese Laymon, and Esmé Weijun Wang. For those who want to fill gaps in their memories by reporting on their own lives, we’ll also discuss the skills, strategies, and ethical considerations that guide journalists who write about trauma and tragedy. Students will exit this class with multiple original pieces of writing—or multiple chapters of a longer work—as well as a range of strategies for gaining narrative mastery over the stories that are hardest to tell.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee's decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

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. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

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!