"We writers can have loud and convincing inner critics, a tendency to overthink to the point of paralysis, and enough self-doubt, procrastination, and perfectionism to stymie any project," says instructor Gila Lyons. "Having a writing mentor is an excellent way to surpass these roadblocks, keep on track with your work, be exposed to new writing strategies and techniques, receive guidance in publishing and a writing career if desired, and keep you accountable, inspired, and most importantly, writing."
Over nine weeks, we’ll look at structure, pacing, literary voice, character development, plot, and more in your writing, and if desired, discuss how and where to publish your work. You’ll submit three packets of work throughout the “class”, each consisting of: 1) Up to 3,500 words (of a memoir, personal essay, lyric essay, nonfiction hybrid) for written feedback from Gila. You can request line-edits, macro-edits, feedback on a specific element, or just general feedback; 2) a small critical engagement with select reading assignments in creative nonfiction (which Gila will provide and which will foster close-reading skills and inform creative practice); and 3) a letter to Gila about your writing process, any questions you have, or aspects of your submission you’re struggling with or want feedback on.
Gila forms warm, supportive, and open relationships with her writers, while upholding the rigorous standards and quality of instruction and feedback of an MFA program. She loves working with creative nonfiction writers, and is happy and honored to share her experience writing, publishing, and reading over the past two decades of her writing and publishing career.
Gila Lyons‘ writing has appeared in The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Healthline, Health Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Vice, Vox, The Huffington Post, Salon, Poets & Writers, and other publications. Her pieces have been anthologized in books and anthologies, most recently in ABOUT US: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times. Gila has served as one of three “Alices” at Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University’s award-winning health and sexuality website, as well as a health writer for The Chopra Center and KHealth. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.
February 15 – April 19