Jessica Hendry Nelson is the author of the memoir-in-essays If Only You People Could Follow Directions, which was selected as a best debut book by the Indies Introduce New Voices program, the Indies Next List by the American Booksellers’ Association, named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Review, received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, and reviewed nationally in print and on NPR—including twice in (O) Oprah Magazine. It was also a finalist for the Vermont Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Carolina Quarterly, Columbia Journal, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, Drunken Boat and elsewhere. She teaches in the MFA Program in Writing and Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and the MFA Program at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. She serves as the Managing & Nonfiction editor of Green Mountains Review. More at jessicahnelson.com.
The Devil is in the Details
What are the “details” of a story? Are they always nouns? Proper names? Adjectives or metaphors? This craft session will focus on defining, examining, and experimenting with well chosen details and how they can be used to create a distinctive literary voice and vivid characters. During this workshop we will define ‘details’ as all the extraneous information an author chooses to include, but which is not required to tell the action of the story. Details launch your writing from an outline to a mesmerizing read.
Too Young to Write Memoir?
The title of this workshop comes from a 2015 article in the New York Times article by two young writers, Leslie Jamison and Benjamin Moser, who respond to the oft-repeated argument that young people do not have the wisdom or the experiences to write about their lives. Wait until you’re older and can make sense of your life, is a common refrain. But this perspective ignores the value of the voice of innocence and the power of immediacy. In this workshop we’ll learn how to mine our life experiences to create beautiful works of short memoir.