Wednesday, June 13, 2007


This summer, the Creative Nonfiction Foundation will launch a new educational series, the Creative Nonfiction Writing Institutes. The Institutes are short, intensive programs focused on various aspects of the craft of writing creative nonfiction. The first Institute, MAKING MEMOIR, with courses and workshop opportunities for writers of all levels of experience, will be held in Pittsburgh July 13-14, 2007.

MAKING MEMOIR features a special opportunity to learn the basics from an authority on the genre--writer and editor Lee Gutkind, a literary pioneer who has helped make creative nonfiction the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry. Lee will teach two courses:

  • THE FIVE R'S OF MAKING MEMOIR will give an overview of the genre. In this day-long course on Friday, July 13, Lee will present the basic elements of the classic memoir, from scene-writing to using background information and descriptions, structure, voice and tone, while discussing the ethical issues inherent in memoir writing.
  • WORKSHOP WITH THE GODFATHER will be a special, day-long workshop for advanced writers on Saturday, July 14. Writers may submit up to ten double-spaced pages in advance to share with other members of the workshop.

Two half-day courses for writers at all levels will be offered on Saturday, July 14:

  • WORKING WITH FRAGMENTS OF MEMORY will consider how to capture memory; the function of distinctive voice as an organizing principle; the use of dialogue and scenes in fleshing out memory; the quest for truth; and the role freshness of language plays in being honest with memory. Instructor Floyd Skloot, the award-winning author of memoirs including In the Shadow of Memory, will focus the workshop on the elements that lend cohesion and structure to fragments of memory, exploring the writer's technical resources for such work. (9 a.m. to noon)
  • THE ART AND CRAFT OF CHARACTERIZATION IN MEMOIR will enable writers to bring characters on the page to life--through their actions, reactions, dialogue, and intimate detail. Instructor Dinty W. Moore, the author of books including The Truth of the Matter: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction, will offer strategies designed to increase the writer's skill at transforming complex flesh-and-blood individuals into words, sentences, and scenes. (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

Class size will be limited to ensure personal attention from workshop instructors; pre-registration is required. Complete instructor bios and registration details are online.

All classes and lectures will be held in comfortable classrooms at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 477 Melwood Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

You must register by July 1. Please email any questions about the workshops or the registration process.

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