Advanced Weeklong Nonfiction Workshop: We Tell Each Other Stories in Order to Live with Thomas Chatterton Williams

$925.00 Members
$985.00 Non-members

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” That’s the opening line of Joan Didion's canonical autobiographical essay, "The White Album.” For the purposes of this class, though, we may tweak it slightly: we tell each other stories in order to live. This is the small miracle of writing: when we skillfully express our own struggles, victories, insights, and observations, we create meaning, purpose, and fellowship within an unseen, unknown reader. The truth is that everyone has highly compelling and revelatory memories, but the trick to powerful, compelling memoir is to figure out which of these to emphasize or downplay in service of an immersive narrative arc. This workshop will focus on strategies of first-person nonfiction. Through a combination of free-writing exercises, readings, and discussions covering a variety of examples, we will think critically about structure, pacing, scene-setting, dialogue, and, perhaps above all, taste and judgment. These are the tools we have at our disposal to shape the inchoate jumbles of our life experiences into streamlined stories. For those who would like to, we will also talk about pitching.  Accepted participants will submit up to 20 pages by noon (MST) on May 11 and will have the opportunity to schedule a meeting with Williams during the week of class.

Applications for Lit Fest advanced workshops close on March 14 and can be found here. Learn more about Lit Fest Advanced Workshops here. Accepted writers will be given the password to register for the workshop in late March.

Instructor: Thomas Chatterton Williams Learn More


Jun 08, 2020 9:00am - 11:30amJun 09, 2020 9:00am - 11:30amJun 10, 2020 9:00am - 11:30amJun 11, 2020 9:00am - 11:30amJun 12, 2020 9:00am - 11:30am