All of us have true stories worth telling. The challenge, though, comes with how best to share our experiences. In this ten week advanced creative nonfiction workshop, we’ll examine popular essay forms—memoir, personal essay, nature/travel essay, the lyric essay—and figure out where these sub-genres converge and diverge. We’ll also discuss the foundational concepts of engaging first-person writing central to essaying: establishing a compelling main narrative, creating strong characters, rendering vivid descriptions, and building satisfying plots. Most importantly, we’ll investigate the process of connecting our personal experiences to larger truths about our world and translating those to the page. All participants will have the opportunity to workshop their own writing projects.
Joshua Dewain Foster is an award-winning prose writer from rural Idaho. His work has been selected for the Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Fiction and Nonfiction, a Wallace Stegner Fiction Fellowship from Stanford University, a grant from the Idaho Commission of the Arts, and a Notable Work mention in Best American Essays 2015. His stories and essays have appeared in DIAGRAM, Tin House, Fugue, South Loop Review, among other magazines and journals. He serves as the Online Exclusives Fiction Editor for Gulf Coast, and has edited for DIAGRAM and Terrain.org. Josh is a Ph. D. candidate at the University of Houston’s Literature & Creative Writing program, where he is finishing an autobiographical novel about addiction, family, snowboarding, driving, and the contemporary American West. More at www.joshuadewainfoster.com.