In Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, William Zinnser writes that “Good memoirs are a careful act of construction. We like to think that an interesting life will simply fall into place on the page. It won’t…Memoir writers must manufacture a text, imposing narrative order on a jumble of half-remembered events.” So, too, for shorter works about real life, such as personal essays. In this workshop, we’ll explore the ways in which techniques of narrative craft can be harnessed to impose order, or shape compelling stories out of real-life material. We’ll read examples of creative nonfiction including personal essays, narrative reportage, memoir excerpts, and flash creative nonfiction, and we’ll draft new works of our own. This class is for you if you love writing from your own life, are working on or towards a memoir, want to explore the many joys and diverse structures available to you in the personal essay, or just know you have some great true material to put down in writing.