Back to Calendar

2018 Summer Writing Retreat - "Looking In, Looking Out: Moving Beyond the Personal in Memoir" with Donna M. Johnson & Kirk Wilson

Add to my calendar


Location
Stephen F. Austin State University
1936 North St
Nacogdoches, TX 75962

7/29/2018 to 8/3/2018


 



THIS CLASS IS SOLD OUT. IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST, PLEASE CALL (512) 499-8914. TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE OTHER NONFICTION CLASS BEING OFFERED AT THE SUMMER WRITING RETREAT, EXPLORING THE ESSAY.

 

"Looking In, Looking Out" Class Meeting Times:

Sunday, July 29: Orientation, 6pm
Monday through Friday, July 30-August 3: 9:30am to 3:30pm (one hour break for lunch)

 

Rules are made to be broken but if there’s one axiom for writing memoir, it’s curiosity over confession. This approach enables writers to expand the personal story into what Stephen Church calls “a narrative of thought,” where the writer’s connections to ideas thread into larger worlds that enhance the meaning of the personal story. This workshop aims to help writers reflect on their own experience in the light of their explorations of other sources, adding nuance and depth to their narratives.

In the morning sessions,
 the class will include craft talks as well as the reading and discussion of published work. Students will have an opportunity to practice and incorporate new skills into their own work through the use of writing prompts designed to inspire and provoke.

In the afternoon sessions,
 students can opt to participate in peer driven workshops aimed at offering supportive feedback. These afternoon workshops will be open to all participants and led by one of the two instructors. Students who elect to participate must opt in and submit work by midnight, July 1. (Workshop details and submission guidelines and instructions will be emailed to all class registrants at time of registration; students will read all workshop materials ahead of the class start date and will bring written comments with them). Students who choose not to participate in the afternoon workshop may use that time to write (writing prompts will be given) or to explore the beautiful city of Nacogdoches.

Class takeaways will include knowledge of the fundamental elements of memoir, methods for incorporating outside resources, developing complex characters, use of the reflective voice, and approaches for mining experience for meaning.

This workshop is appropriate for writers with memoirs in progress, those who are just beginning a memoir project, and writers with completed memoir manuscripts looking for ways to deepen the story.

 

About the Instructors

"I loved this course. Donna and Kirk make a great team. I learned so much, not only about the art of writing memoir, but about writing in general. I will bring the skills they noticed and noted to everything I read and write in the future."
-- 2017 Summer Writing Workshop
Attendee 

Donna M. Johnson Johnson is the author of Holy Ghost Girl, a critically acclaimed memoir deemed “enthralling” by the New York Times and “compulsively readable” by Texas Monthly. Oprah named the book to her "Memoirs We Love" list. Holy Ghost Girl won the Mayborn Creative Nonfiction Prize and took top honors at the Books for a Better Life Awards in Manhattan. Donna has written for Huffington Post, The Rumpus, Shambhala Sun, Psychology Today, and other publications. Donna is a Ragdale Fellow and was recently awarded a fellowship at the Lucas Artist Residency. She is currently at work on a hybrid memoir.

Kirk Wilson is a 2018 NEA Fellow whose work in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies. He is the recipient of the New Millennium Award for Nonfiction, a Pushcart nominee, and a finalist for the Crazyhorse Nonfiction Prize, the Machigonne Fiction Award, and the Wordstock Short Fiction Competition. A chapbook of his poems, The Early Word, was published by Burning Deck Press. His true crime classic Unsolved has been published in six editions in the US and UK. His website is KirkWilsonBooks.com.

 



REFUND POLICY

(Please read this refund policy closely before registering for the 2018 Summer Writing Retreat; no exceptions will be made):

Through May 15, 2018: 100% refund available.
May 16 - June 21, 2018: 50% refund available.

All cancellations will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

After June 21, 2018: No refunds will be made, but registrants can transfer their registration to another person as long as advance notice is given to the Writers' League of Texas. If you wish to transfer your registration, please call the WLT at 512-499-8914.