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Crafting the Self through Memoir and Creative Nonfiction

Memoir and creative nonfiction writers offer glimpses into their lives through capturing and crafting significant moments for readers. These moments are then quilted together through reflection with the intention of revealing a meaningful journey.
In this memoir/creative nonfiction workshop, we will discuss:

1) Approaches to getting started on memoir/creative nonfiction writing, including topic creation through personal reflection, research, and working with artifacts; and
2) Form selection and development through narration and scene creation.
Participants will improve upon their knowledge of the memoir and creative nonfiction genres, as well as engage in reflective and interactive exercises that will develop their appreciation for and understanding of craft. Participants will receive feedback from other participants and the instructor.
Instructor: Deirdre Fagan is the author of a poetry collection, Phantom Limbs (Finishing Line Press, 2023), an award-winning memoir, Find a Place for Me: Embracing Love and Life in the Face of Death (Pact Press, Regal House Publishing, November 1, 2022), a short story collection, The Grief Eater (Adelaide Books, 2020), and a chapbook of poetry, Have Love (Finishing Line Press, 2019). Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. Fagan is also the author of the reference book, Critical Companion to Robert Frost (Facts on File, 2007) and has published critical essays on poetry, memoir, and pedagogy. Notably, her essay on Emily Dickinson’s dash was included in Harold Bloom’s Modern Critical Views. Fagan holds a doctorate in Humanistic Studies (English and Philosophy) and a master’s in English from University at Albany, SUNY, and a bachelor’s in English from University at Buffalo, SUNY, and has taught university courses in writing and literature for over two decades. She is a native New Yorker who has also lived in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Maryland, and currently resides in Michigan where she teaches and coordinates the creative writing program at Ferris State University. For her memoir, Fagan is a National Indie Excellence Awards gold medal winner, Readers’ Favorite gold medal winner, Living Now Awards bronze medal winner, Shelf Unbound Indie Notable 100, American Writing Awards finalist, and American Bookfest finalist. For her short story collection, she is an Eric Hoffer Book Award category finalist and Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist. For her poetry, a Best of the Net finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee. Fagan is also the poetry editor at Orange Blossom Review. She is currently in the process of revising a second memoir.


Details: Crafting the Self through Memoir and Creative Nonfiction meets Mondays January 22, 29, and February 5 from 6:00-8:00pm remotely online via Zoom.

Prerequisites: At least one previous writing class

Genre: Nonfiction

Level: Intermediate

Format: Generative workshop with writing in class and outside of class and group sharing.

Location: This class takes place remotely online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 12 participants (including scholarships).

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with another generative nonfiction writing workshop or a feedback course.

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by December 11.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email

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