Craft moves like cutting and framing are easy to talk about but hard to execute. In this three-hour seminar, you'll read an older, baggier version of a chapter from your instructor's memoir LIGHTNING FLOWERS, then compare it to the published version. You'll see in concrete ways how cutting changes the flow of a work and how adding intentional language can steer readers into a book's questions. You'll bring to class a two-page sample of your own prose to swap with a peer, practicing line-level tightening in real time. You'll leave class with a grounded sense of how to streamline and guide your own memoir-in-progress.
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Katherine Standefer's debut book LIGHTNING FLOWERS was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction, selected as a New York Times Editor's Choice, and shortlisted for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Prize from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. The book ws named one of Oprah Magazine's "Best Books of Fall 2020" and featured in People Magazine, on the goop podcast, and on NPR's Fresh Air. Standefer's previous writing appeared in The Best American Essays 2016 and won the Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction. She earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona and spent time as a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good. She lives in the Tetons, in a forest full of bears.
"Katherine was wonderful! I learned SO much about trauma and writing, and it's going to help me as a writer and as a teacher."