All lives are full of stories. The challenge is finding the right ones to tell.

Jul 15, 2024 - Jul 19, 2024

Levels: All
Workshop Fee: $1375
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 12

Everyone has a plethora of remembered experiences, but choosing the most powerful ones to crystallize in art can be difficult. In this workshop, we’ll use specific prompts to elicit narratives of pivotal moments in our lives, and we’ll practice tested revision strategies for strengthening our drafts. We’ll study the form by reading and discussing examples of flash memoir. We’ll also discuss venues for publication, and you’ll leave with a dozen new pieces to polish and publish. In workshop, we’ll write by hand, so all you’ll need is a thick notebook and a pen.

Joy Castro Books, 2023
Joy Castro’s work has won the International Latino Book Award and Nebraska Book Award and has been selected as a Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award. Her books have been adopted for courses at dozens of colleges and universities, including Brown, Grinnell, Purdue, UC-Davis, Rutgers, and Vanderbilt.


“Fabulously constructed and orchestrated workshop. The shared insights, literary references, and exercises were perfect. I left reinvigorated and inspired with new tools.”

“Joy’s creative exercises kept the pace going. I especially liked her emphasis throughout the days on the care and nurturing of our writerly selves. I think the highlight was the last day when we got to share our work with each other.”

“Joy’s class made my life more meaningful.”

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Instructor: Dr. Joy Castro

Joy Castro is the award-winning author of the 2023 historical thriller One Brilliant Flame, a story of Key West in the 1800s; the Appalachian novel Flight Risk, a finalist for a 2022 International Thriller Award; the post-Katrina New Orleans literary thrillers Hell or High Water, which received the Nebraska Book Award, and Nearer Home, which have both been published in France by Gallimard’s historic Série Noire; the short fiction collection How Winter Began; the memoir The Truth Book; and the essay collection Island of Bones, which received the International Latino Book Award and was a Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award. She is also editor of the craft anthology Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family and the founding series editor of Machete, a series in innovative literary nonfiction at The Ohio State University Press. She served as the guest judge of CRAFT‘s first Creative Nonfiction Award, and her fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in venues including Ploughshares, The Brooklyn Rail, Senses of Cinema, Salon, Gulf Coast, Brevity, Afro-Hispanic Review, Seneca Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The New York Times Magazine. A former Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University, she is currently the Willa Cather Professor of English and Ethnic Studies (Latinx Studies) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she directs the Institute for Ethnic Studies.