CURRENT COURSES

Approaching Mystery: Online Flash Memoir Course through Creative Nonfiction Journal

  • June 25th-July 30th

This course will show you how the flash memoir form is particularly suited to representing the mystery of the writer’s mind. Even as it remains grounded in the reality of lived experience, flash memoir can capture the absurd or surreal quality of everyday life.

The short pieces you compose in this course could become foundations for longer works (essay/memoir) or remain stand alone "flash" pieces. Alternately, you could see them as writing practice, as a way to loosen up and access your creativity. You will explore the parameters and promises of creative nonfiction and how the particular conventions of the flash essay can be a rich source of inspiration.

Register here

Approaching Mystery: An Online Flash Memoir Course

  • Fri, Mar 16, 2018 2:30 PM - Thu, Apr 19, 2018 3:30 PM

In this online writing workshop, we’ll write short passages of prose that explore the mystery of the everyday. We will work in a mode that we could call flash memoir, vignette, or micro-essay. These short pieces could become the basis for a longer work (essay/memoir), or remain stand alone "flash" pieces. Alternately, you could see them as writing practice, as a way to loosen up and access your creativity. We will also explore the (blurry) lines between prose poem, flash fiction, and micro-essay, reading examples from each of these genres and dipping into them at will. Some of the writers we may read as models include Lydia Davis, Lynda Barry, Paul Auster, Malena Morling, Tomas Transtromer, Jessica Mesman Griffith, Sherman Alexie.

One of the aims of this course will be exploration of the element of the absurd, surreal, or wondrous that exists in our everyday experience. We will spend much of our time in a mode of play and discovery, even when writing on serious subjects. You’ll post some of your responses to writing exercises for the whole group to see. You will receive feedback from me along the way, and at the end of the course, I will read a portfolio of work or an essay based on your vignettes from each student.

Register here.


PREVIOUS COURSES

Writing Spaces: A Flash Memoir Class on Starting Where You Are (online)

  • Fri, Jan 12, 20183:00 PM  Fri, Feb 9, 20183:00 PM

In this online writing workshop, we'll do short readings and exercises in class designed to loosen us up, access our creativity and writing voices, and jumpstart a writing practice. Toward the end of the class, each participant will share a short personal essay or a portfolio of vignettes that has emerged from our in-class exercises, beginning to shape the material that emerged in the class into a short collection of micro-essays or one longer essay that weaves these "flash" pieces together. Our theme will be"writing spaces," allowing us to examine the intersections among life stories, memory, the body, and place (home, rooms, towns, spaces dreamed or imagined). We will read excerpts by some of the following writers, and produce our own writing inspired by them: Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Lynda Barry, Claudia Rankine, Gaston Bachelard, Brian Doyle, Sherman Alexie, JoAnn Beard.

Writing Spaces

  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - Sat, Apr 15, 2017 

In this community writing workshop, we'll do short readings and exercises in class designed to loosen us up, access our creativity and writing voices, and jumpstart a writing practice. Toward the end of the class, each participant will share a short personal essay that has emerged from our in-class exercises. Our theme will be"writing spaces," allowing us to examine the intersections among life stories, memory, the body, and place (home, rooms, towns, spaces dreamed or imagined). We will read excerpts by some of the following writers, and produce our own writing inspired by them: Abigail Thomas, James Agee, Sandra Cisneros, JoAnn Beard, David Sedaris, Jamaica Kincaid, Lynda Barry, Paul Auster, Luci Tapahonso. 

The class will meet on Saturdays March 11-April 15, 3-5pm. Early bird tickets (purchased by March 1st) are $200 + Eventbrite fee. Regular tickets (after March 1st) are $250 + fee.

Reading and Writing from Life

  • Sat, Apr 16, 2016 -  Sat, May 21, 2016 

The artist Miranda July has noted that creative production is about hypnotizing yourself into creating and then going back and editing with a critical eye.  The focus in this workshop will be on this recursive process of expansive, playful creation, followed by revision.  In our meetings, we will loosen up and access the playful, exploratory mode necessary to create first drafts.  Writing prompts and examples will help guide writers toward creation of your own essays and material toward longer pieces.  You will then produce one to two short, autobiographical essays (3-5 pages) which you will share with the group.  Readings will include short excerpts by writers such as Lydia Davis, Abigail Thomas, Lynda Barry, Nick Flynn, Maggie Nelson, and Paul Auster.

Author of The Itinerant Girl's Guide to Self-Hypnosis and What Is a Domicile, Joanna Penn Cooper has taught writing and literature at the college level for fifteen years.

This is a six-week course that will meet at Nido Durham on Saturdays from 2-5 p.m., April 16th to May 21st, 2016.