Richard Goodman is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France, A New York Memoir and The Soul of Creative Writing. His book, The Bicycle Diaries: One New Yorker’s Journey Through 9/11, with original wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec, is part of the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Of French Dirt, the San Francisco Chronicle said, “It is one of the most charming, perceptive and subtle books ever written about the French by an American.” Richard Goodman has written on a variety of subjects for many national publications, including The New York Times, Harvard Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Writer’s Chronicle, River Teeth, Commonweal, Vanity Fair, Saveur, Ascent, French Review and Michigan Quarterly Review. He wrote the introduction for Travelers’ Tales Provence and has been a frequent contributor for the Travelers’ Tales series of books. He lived for many years in New York City where, among other things, he worked as a landscape gardener an as an editor at Random House. He is Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction Writing at the University of New Orleans.
We all have a story we want to tell. The real challenge is how do we turn our personal drama into something that will captivate complete strangers, our readers? That our stories happen to be true is important, but what’s really important is that the stories be dramatic, taut, and compelling. That they have energy, light and depth. That happens not so much as a result of what we are writing about, as how. This workshop will use examples from both nonfiction and fiction to illustrate techniques—character development, dialogue, sentence structure, setting the scene, word choice, and the use of time—to help you make that happen. We will follow up each example with writing exercises. This workshop is for writers who are just beginning the journey of telling their story to those who have already begun.