Join award-winning author Sue William Silverman in a transformative five-day writing workshop, focusing on key elements of creative nonfiction to turn your life story into art.

Aug 12, 2024 - Aug 16, 2024

Levels: All
Workshop Fee: $1495
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 10

Guided by Sue William Silverman, this five-day workshop will focus on five major elements of creative nonfiction to craft your life story into art. Whether you’re writing about a trek up a mountain, the loss of a loved one, domestic violence, the birth of a child, or raising goats on a farm, your narrative is important. And, what’s more, by implementing these five major elements, it’s also universal. It’s a story which will resonate with others.

How? Why?

Creative nonfiction possesses double-vision—the author’s ability to see the past joined with present awareness—thus heightening the intensity. Unlike real life, creative nonfiction is both microscopic and telescopic. It’s crucial to envision the smallest detail of a life while also presenting that detail in such a way to reflect an entire world. Real life lacks metaphoric perspective. Creative nonfiction explores it. A story seemingly about me must speak to others. By invigorating your use of sensory imagery, reclaiming memories and obsessions, and hearing the voice to claim your particular narrative, you will discover the pulse of creative nonfiction. You will discover that which transforms life into art.

Day 1: Metaphor

Writing the metaphoric senses to explore the soul’s wounds, joys, and needs.

Day 2: Memory

Strategies to help you recall past events and turn them into art.

Day 3: Obsessions

Discovering your obsessions and crafting them into essays.

Day 4: Voice

Hearing the sound, the voice, of an essay until it sings with life.

Day 5: Courage 

The courage to overcome fear and write your hard-won truths on the page.

The Daily Schedule:

Each morning will start with an hour-long discussion of the day’s topic, followed by a writing prompt. The participants will then spend approximately two hours writing. After lunch, the group will gather together again for an opportunity to share and discuss the morning’s writing. Finally, toward the end of each day, I’ll meet one-on-one, throughout the week, with each participant.

Works by Sue William Silverman

Book cover: Acetylene Torch Songs Writing True Stories to Ignite the Soul - By Sue William SilvermanSue’s upcoming book Acetylene Torch Songs: Writing True Stories to Ignite the Soul is an amalgam of craft advice coupled with personal essays–essays written specifically to illustrate the craft concerns of each chapter. Additionally, Sue shares the urgency over the importance of writing personal narrative. Learn more about Sue’s work here.


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Instructor: Sue William Silverman

Sue William Silverman is an award-winning author of eight works of nonfiction and poetry. Her newest work, focusing on craft, is Acetylene Torch Songs: Writing True Stories to Ignite the Soul, while her previous book, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences, won the gold star in Foreword Reviews Indie Book of the Year Award and the Clara Johnson Award for Women’s Literature. Other works include Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, made into a Lifetime TV movie; Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, which won the AWP Award; and The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. She is co-chair of the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.