And yet, taking my 10-Day MFA program will give you the boost you need when you're already working with limited time and energy, and would rather not begin by going down a dead end. Starting with the confidence and instruction that you'll receive from this class will also fuel you as you hunker down to write, knowing that you have a solid scaffolding for your dream essay collection or memoir.
Let's do this!
Meet the teacher
I won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize for my essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias, which also went on to win the Whiting Award and to become a New York Times bestseller. I've been a visiting professor at the San Jose State MFA program, and have taught hundreds of students the art of personal nonfiction writing; I also wrote The Collected Schizophrenias while coping with an assortment of debilitating chronic illnesses.
I'm here to help you crack through your blocks and find a more exhilarating way to write while living with limitations.
foUNDER of the unexpected shape™
devastatingly fond of potato skins
@esmewwang on instagram
How to read like a writer. You've been told over and over that to be a writer, you need to read, read, read. But what exactly is it that you're supposed to read? And how, exactly, are you supposed to be reading it? I'll provide a list of books that you can learn from (and nope, they're not all by dead white men, I promise) and go over how to approach reading nonfiction for your own benefit.
How to build community as a writer. In my own MFA program, I found that it was the connections I made that were most important—and not connections to agents or editors, but connections to other students. I'll talk about how to do this either locally or online, and some of my tips & tricks of how to make solid bonds to benefit both yourself and others.
How to critique and get critiqued. It might feel terrifying to put yourself out there—to get critiqued—but after I teach you about the critique process, as well as some ways to help you to both GIVE and RECEIVE the best feedback possible, you'll feel much more comfortable and be much more prepared.
How to think of yourself as a writer and give yourself time as a writer. Now that we've been through some of the nuts and bolts, what does it mean to get over the imposter syndrome that often comes with not being in an MFA program? In this lesson, I'll tell you how to begin thinking of yourself as a writer in your mind and soul.
How to talk about your work. Maybe you've published a few pieces here and there. Maybe you're working on a book. Or maybe you haven't started writing much at all. Given all of that, how do you talk about your work, or the work that you plan to do? Do you dread the question, "What is it that you do?" and its follow-up, "Oh, what do you write about?" I'll tell you how to approach these questions in a way that feels comfortable and true to yourself.
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