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“By writing memoir and personal essays, we give form to our histories and make something of meaning and beauty that is uniquely ours,” says instructor Katharine Harer. “I love this genre because you can be yourself, complete with your idiosyncrasies, strong opinions, flashes of wisdom and crazy moments. You can write about that time you got locked inside a porta potty at the Roman Colosseum, or how you learned to make plum jam from your grandfather, or your first kiss in fourth grade.”
In this nine-week online class, we’ll do generative writing exercises and optional homework assignments geared toward creating vivid scenes and characters, using fresh sensory details, and identifying our distinct voices, all of which are so important in making memoir and personal essays come alive. We’ll take inspiration from a variety of nonfiction writers—Ann Patchett, Ta-Nehisi Coates, David Sedaris and Maggie Nelson, among others—and practice giving and receiving encouraging, constructive feedback to develop and deepen our writing.
By the end of the nine weeks, you’ll take home the tools you’ll need to continue writing memoir and personal essays, as well as at least one completed short draft and seeds for the development of several more.
About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes
Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, The Writing Salon is running all classes in a remote learning format. You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katharine Harer loves teaching creative writing. She has worked with hundreds, maybe thousands, of students in her over thirty-year career as a community college writing teacher at Skyline College and as a private workshop instructor. Katharine has published seven collections of poetry, the most recent, Deconfliction, in 2020, and a full-length volume of poems, Jazz & Other Hot Subjects, in 2016. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published widely in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. Her travel essay Delle Donne appeared in Best Women’s Travel Writing 2016 and a personal essay, Blue Flags & Painted Crosses, is forthcoming from Sonora Review in Tucson.
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, September 22, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, September 29, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, October 06, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, October 13, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, October 20, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, October 27, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, November 03, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, November 10, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, November 17, 7:00pm-9:30pm
I found Katharine's teaching style empathetic and helpful. She was always about improving, no matter what level we were at.
I think Katharine is a great teacher. She gives everyone respectful, individual attention. She lets everyone have their own opinion and encourages us to listen to each other with the same empathy.