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Creative Writing Master Classes, Free, One-Shot, 2-Hour Classes Open to Everyone

Oct 29, 2016 to Nov 05, 2016

Creative Writing Master Classes

Presented by the Nonfiction Writing Program

Free, One-Shot, 2-Hour Classes Open to Everyone: 


Register for as many classes as you like with this link:


Location, Location, Location! Writing People Through Place

Saturday, October 29th, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., 469 EPB

Having trouble bringing your characters (real or otherwise) to life? This class will explore people through their environments, showing you how writing place—revealing the contents of a medicine cabinet, fridge, or bookshelf, or exploring the richness of a landscape—can lead you to a deeper understanding of your subjects and their communities.

Instructors: Aracely Mondragon and Alexander Pines are MFA candidates in the Nonfiction Writing Program. Aracely writes about queer xicanidad, immigration, and journeys home, and Alexander’s work revolves around photography, horror films, and the Rust Belt.


Spill Your Guts: The Art of the Overshare

Saturday, October 29th, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., 469 EPB

The saying goes write what you know, but how about writing what you feel? Can you make an embarrassing moment poetic? A sweaty workout profound? A messy breakup eloquent? In this class, we’ll learn how to craft powerful, visceral writing that really gets under your skin.

Instructors: A second-year MFA candidate in creative nonfiction, Katie Prout is a writer and runner and has many gross stories about both. Emily Mester is a second-year MFA candidate who writes about middle school crushes, urine, and Monica Lewinsky.


Ghost Writing: A Paranormal Investigation

Saturday, October 29th, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Meet at The Haunted Bookshop (219 N. Gilbert St.)

To those souls brave enough to plumb the depths of mind and spirit: Join us for a literary tour of the Oakland Cemetery to find inspiration from beyond the grave. This generative writing séance will conjure your inspiration and summon new writing to the page.

Instructors: A native of Pittsburgh who writes about death and the grotesque, Brittany Borghi is an MFA candidate in the Nonfiction Writing Program whose mother has called her “a psychic.” Ethan Madore is an essayist who teaches cross-genre classes about literary publishing. He is from New England, where there are many ghosts.


Out of Your Head and Onto the Page: Building Scenes Through Improv

Saturday, November 5th, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., 469 EPB

There's nothing worse than staring at the blank page—so, let's not. This master class combines improv comedy and writing exercises in order to quiet that pesky voice that whispers, I have nothing to say. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, comedy or drama, we'll give you techniques that allow you to work less self-consciously and generate new, probably more interesting, ideas. Join us for two hours of creating something out of nothing. 

Instructors: Dan Cronin and Adina Talve-Goodman are MFA candidates in the Nonfiction Writing Program. Dan previously worked for Second City and The Onion; Adina has a background in theater and has seven years of editorial experience at a literary magazine (they’re both pretty funny).


Think Like a Critic

Saturday, November 5th, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., 469 EPB

Hated the latest Game of Thrones? Loved The Girl on the Train? Got questions for Kanye? Your opinions matter, but why should the world listen? Pitching critical reviews is one of the best ways to break into the world of professional writing – the problem is, everyone’s doing it. Here’s how to get heard.

Instructors: Matilda Bathurst is an MFA candidate in the Nonfiction Writing Program and has worked as an art and books critic for leading British publications. Emmett Rensin is an MFA candidate in the Nonfiction Writing Program and a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Review of Books.


Crash Course in Prose Style

Saturday, November 5th, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., 469 EPB

Sentences are the building blocks of writing, but how much do we really know about them? Come to this master class and you’ll learn how to identify and write different types of sentences. Learn how altering your style can give some extra punch to the opening of your memoir or the climax of your novel. 

Instructors: Annie Sand is a memoirist and nature writer whose work has appeared in H.O.W. and Nowhere. Elena Carter is an essayist and journalist with a focus on social justice, prisons, and wrongful convictions.