In Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, William Zinsser 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.
- Instructor: Maria Browning
- Length of workshop: 8 weeks
- Dates: Thursdays, July 14 - Sept. 1
- Time: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
- Cost: $291 (non-members); $261 (members)
- Location: The Skillery in Germantown
Maria Browning is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Nashville Scene, Literary Hub, InConcert, BMI MusicWorld, Crescendo, Vanderbilt Magazine, BookPage, Still: The Journal, and elsewhere. Since 2009, she has been a contributing writer at Chapter 16, a website devoted to covering the literary culture of Tennessee. She offers private tutorials for developing writers, and from 2013 to 2014 she led the Brentwood Writers’ Workshop, a monthly workshop devoted to helping writers connect with their creativity and discover their material. Maria also provides manuscript consultation and editing services to individuals and organizations. Her clients have included the Nashville Symphony and the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. She attended the Moss Workshop at the University of Memphis and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She lives in White Bluff, Tennessee.