Creative Nonfiction: Foundations

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Creative Nonfiction: Foundations


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 spun from 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: Susannah Felts

  • Length of workshop: 8 weeks

  • Date: Tuesdays, October 15 - December 3

  • Time: 7 - 9 p.m.

  • Location: Porch Headquarters

    2811 Dogwood Place, Nashville, TN 37204

  • Cost: $312/Non-Member; $280.80/Member **Don’t forget to use your membership code at checkout!

What Our Students Say:

“I learned so much, grew in my writing, and bonded with the teacher and other participants.”

“This workshop was wonderful and fostered my growth as a writer. It also strengthened my ability to think critically about the craft of writing as well as my ability to give thoughtful feedback to my peers.”

“The reading selections were beautiful and inspiring, but experiencing the living talent of the other writers in the workshop was the most inspiring part. Every week I looked forward to hearing what other people had written, and the instructor's feedback always left me inspired to do a little more.”

What Our Students Say:

“Susannah was knowledgeable, kind, and empathetic. She always equipped us with suggestions that could move our work forward.”

“Susannah really personified empathy. From the first class, I felt challenged and accepted.”

“Susannah Felts was such an encouraging and inspiring leader. Her gentleness in critique and honesty in praise made all the difference.”

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About the Instructor:

Susannah's essays and other creative nonficiton have appeared in Guernica, Longreads, Catapult, the Nashville Scene, Quarterly West, The Oxford American, and other publications. For her full bio, please see our About Us page.