Documenting Life, Briefly: Writing Flash Nonfiction
Flash nonfiction, also called the micro-essay, is an increasingly popular genre for nonfiction writers. It allows for experimentation with form, language, style, and voice in ways that are difficult to sustain in longer essays and memoirs. As well, it allows the writer to home in on a particular memory, experience, or feeling. This workshop will explore what it means to be brief in literature, and how flash nonfiction can, within a narrow word count, capture a time, a feeling, or a place in vivid, resonant language. Participants will read and discuss brief nonfiction to explore the authors’ experiences and emotional responses, focusing on form and craft. With prompts provided by the instructor, students will draft several micro-essays (less than 750 words apiece) based on their own experiences, and their emotional responses to those experiences. We will workshop several of the pieces. (12 hours)

Leslie Maxwell is a writer and teacher living in Durham. Her flash nonfiction has appeared in Juked, Blunderbuss Magazine, The Fourth River, Lockjaw, Cheat River Review, and decomP magazinE. Her other writing has appeared in Rappahannock Review, the News & Observer, Walter, and other publications, and is forthcoming in Fourth Genre. Maxwell holds an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University, where she served as the founding nonfiction co-editor of Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art. Find her online at lesliemaxwell.com.

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Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Maxwell 10/21 - 11/25 Mo 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $275.00 View

Master Class: Nonfiction Writing

This workshop brings students together with professional writers and editors for an intense week of collaborative discussion, revision, and writing. Students in the workshop will read and discuss the ongoing projects of fellow students, work individually with the instructors to refine and shape their own projects, and participate in readings and round-table discussions with top figures in the publishing world. Throughout the week, students will have the space and time for sustained, concentrated writing, as well as access to the world-class Duke University Libraries system. This is a workshop on craft, structure, and the art of writing great nonfiction, and a rare opportunity to be guided closely by top editors and writers. (38 hours)

Haven Kimmel is the author of eight books: Two memoirs, the #1 New York Times bestseller A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch, and Other Heroic Tales from Mooreland, Indiana; four novels; and two books for children. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in creative writing and studied with the novelist Lee Smith at North Carolina State University. She is currently working on a horror novel and a non-fiction collection of essays about Quakerism. She lives in Durham.

Janine Latus is a freelance journalist and the author of If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder and Liberation, which made bestseller lists in New York, London, and Toronto. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a former board member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her work has appeared in Discover, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parents, Fitness, More, and dozens of other magazines and websites. She is at work on her second book, about her recent year living as a nomad.

Barry Yeoman is a Durham-based freelance magazine journalist whose recent work has appeared in The American Prospect, Saturday Evening Post, onEarth, Audubon, and Parade. He is the author of “The Gutbucket King,” a longform multimedia profile of New Orleans bluesman Little Freddie King, published by The New New South. He specializes in putting human faces on complex social, political, and environmental issues. His website is barryyeoman.com.

Additional information:
The enrollment fee includes dinner the first night and all lunches during the week. Students are responsible for housing and transportation.

Section A
Taught by Barry Yeoman
Sunday, June 7: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, June 8–11: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday, June 12: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.

Friday's sessions conclude with a public presentation of student work.

See the course blog for a schedule, information on housing options, and more.

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Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Yeoman 6/7 - 6/12 Mo Tu We Th Fr Su Varied $750.00 View
Register Now!
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Yeoman 8/2 - 8/7 Mo Tu We Th Fr Su 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM $750.00 View