Everyone who aspires to write can benefit from learning the elements of storytelling. Story creates an emotional connection between reader and teller, one that inspires, teaches, and stimulates discussion. In this workshop you’ll learn the elements of great nonfiction storytelling – from identifying your literary conflict to grasping narrative structure to developing your plot, characters, and setting – and leave with a solid understanding of the techniques you need to create memorable and unique true stories that linger in the reader’s mind long after they finish the last word.
Did you resolve to write more in the New Year? Do you write for fun or business? Blog or journal? No matter what type of writing you do, this creative nonfiction workshop will help you master the elements of good storytelling to make your true stories read like fiction.
In this workshop designed for writers at all levels, you’ll learn the elements of nonfiction storytelling. Through a combination of dynamic teaching and hands-on exercises, you’ll leave able to:
Identify Your ‘So What’: What’s your reason for writing? How can you identify and narrow your literary conflict?
Find Your Authentic Voice: Who are you as a writer? How can you make your writing sound like the voice in your head?
Master Narrative Structure: How do you craft a killer narrative hook? When should you end? How do you keep the middle from muddling?
Show, Don’t Tell: What literary devices and sensory language can you deploy to illustrate your experiences?
Employ the Storyteller’s Toolkit: How do you develop plot, setting, character, and dialogue?
Edit and Polish Your Work: How do you know when you’re done? What are the essentials of revising and proofing?
You’ll also practice idea-generation techniques like timed freewriting, writing to a prompt, and writing a 100-word story—and have the opportunity to share your work with the group. Because the best storytelling is really an exercise in story sharing in community – connecting human to human through the communal experience of telling and listening.
Cindy Reed is a writer, speaker, and teacher who blogs at the award-winning site The Reedster Speaks, where she writes with humor and clarity about family life, mental illness, progressive politics, and her underwear. Her work has appeared on Brain Child, The Huffington Post, the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop blog, Vibrant Nation, and WhatToExpect.com. She is a four-time recipient of the BlogHer/SheKnows Media Voices of the Year award and a judge for the 2017 international VOTY competition. Cindy also acts as the nonfiction editor for yeah write, a weekly online writing challenge for essayists. She frequently speaks on the craft of writing and teaches the popular 30-day online creative nonfiction boot camp “What’s Your Story?” through her site cindyreed.me. Now on life’s third chapter, she previously worked as an attorney and an academic. She lives with her daughters in Asheville.