Form in Creative Nonfiction
“Form is certainty,” Mary Oliver writes in her essay “Staying Alive” (Upstream). By definition, the essay resists certainty. Writers of creative nonfiction--whether personal essay, memoir, researched analyses, or hybrid forms--experience constant uncertainty: what should we disclose? How vulnerable do we really want to make ourselves? Where are we going with this, and will anyone even care about our lives and ideas? Experimenting with form, however, lends the essay a generative, grounding certainty by imposing constraints that open up possibilities to writers. In this workshop, you will read and discuss formally-inventive creative nonfiction as well as write and workshop your own pieces. Playing with received forms such as maps, glossaries, and lists will inject new energy to your work and offer new tools for your creative writing arsenal. The class is open to all: fiction writers, poets, and beginners welcome, but come prepared for rigor as well as fun!
Class will meet 1pm-4pm February 16, February 23, March 2, March 9
Required Reading: Bluets by Maggie Nelson (order separately)
About the Instructor:
Amy Long earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech, where she taught Intro to Creative Writing and First-Year Rhetoric & Composition. Amy also holds an MA in Women’s Studies and a BA in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Florida. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Experimental Writing 2015, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Literary Hub, and elsewhere.