Spring classes are here!

Exploring Unconventional Essays

Wednesdays, 8 weeks
Apr 3
May 22
6:00 - 8:00PM CT
Christie Grotheim
The Porch House at 2811 Dogwood Pl., Nashville, TN 37204
Cancellation & Refund Policy >

This creative non-fiction class is designed for writers who are familiar with personal essays and would like to push themselves further, exploring structure and honing their craft. Each week will focus on less conventional essay forms, such as lyric essays, braided essays, hermit crab essays, numbered essays, and prose poems, to name a few. We will discuss work by Margaret Atwood, David Shields, CJ Hauser, Jamaica Kincaid, Barry Lopez, Sarah Gerard, Maggie Nelson, and Ada Limon, among others, in the context of important essay elements: voice and tone, point of view, narrative arc, character arc and development, core messaging and themes, and of course, structure. In studying a wide variety of voices and formats, the objective of this class is to delve into this diverse genre while elevating the language and playing with prose in our own work.

In this eight-week, generative course, prompt-based essays will be assigned each week as we experiment with different forms. A large portion of our time together will be dedicated to workshopping longer pieces, so students will have the opportunity to receive feedback from peers while strengthening their own editing skills. You will not only come away with several new pieces as well as direction for revision, but my hope is that you’ll leave class feeling inspired and invigorated in all of your literary endeavors.  

Christie Grotheim’s debut novel, The Year Marjorie Moore Learned to Live, was published in 2019 by Heliotrope Books and was a finalist for best new novel from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Her stories have been featured in Salon.com, The New York Observer, Prometheus Dreaming, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, West View News, Petrolicious.com, and The Dodge, among others. In 2020, Grotheim and her husband relocated from Manhattan to Ashland City, where after a couple of long years of renovations and manual labor, she’s finally realizing her dream of hosting writers’ retreats on the property (Blue Spring Creek Retreats @bluepsringcreekretreats), in collaboration with The Porch (porchtn.org), where she’s also a creative writing instructor. See more of her work at www.christiegrotheim.com.

What Our Students Say

"Christie Grotheim provides incredibly helpful feedback and constructive ideas for students of all levels during class discussions. She is a thoughtful reader who provides great materials on elements of craft. I look forward to taking classes with her again!"

“Christie Grotheim’s experience as an author creates an atmosphere that is open and constructive, and, as a reader, she provides thoughtful critiques that help you reassess your own work with a fresh perspective. She is approachable and enthusiastic. But, equally important, she’s a fun hang!”

"Christie's class was the perfect mix of instruction, practice, and discussion."

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