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In-Depth Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Naomi Kimbell

THE WRITERS WORKSHOP - CREATIVE NONFICTION: An in-depth workshop for pieces in progress by Naomi Kimbell

START DATE: Monday, January 4, 2021

END DATE: Sunday, March 7, 2021

DURATION:  9 weeks

LOCATION:  Private Website

FEEDBACK:  Instructor feedback and critique, peer feedback, group workshopping

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Creative nonfiction goes beyond fact-based journalistic narrative. Authors in this genre often experiment with language, research, and structure to explore stories and experiences that are personally relevant. Creative nonfiction can include memoir, essay, lyric essay, prose poetry, and much more.

The Writers Workshop is for writers who want to focus on a nonfiction work-in-progress. Course participants should come with a draft of their work they are ready to share for detailed feedback and revision suggestions. Additionally, participants will be asked to provide supportive and challenging feedback to other workshop participants with the goals of helping one another develop insight and build skill. You can work on long pieces, short pieces, or even a series of shorts (5000 total words max). In addition to our weekly review and critique sessions, I’ll provide readings on craft, exemplary essays we can learn from, and writing prompts designed to feed your imagination and dream of new possibilities for your work.

Thank you for an enlightening workshop, and thank you to everyone for sharing your writing. I’ve taken my share of these types of workshops over the years, and honestly the insight and depth of knowledge shared here ranks among the best I’ve encountered. I truly learned a lot not just about my writing but also from what was shared with the group. Naomi, I also am grateful for the challenge you set in the first few weeks of class, which is that in the times we find ourselves today, personal essay and memoir can transcend the mere personal to speak universally to privilege and other social issues. This idea resonated with me a great deal, and in my writing these last several weeks I’m much more aware of opportunities to incorporate broader themes. Thank you for that challenge, it’s something that will stay with me far beyond this workshop. ~ Ellen G.

I am finishing up Long Form Creative Nonfiction with Naomi Kimbell. This workshop has been life changing for me. I feel so inspired and empowered as a writer. Naomi really facilitated a safe place to be vulnerable while learning the process. My workshop peers were an amazing group and I am in awe of each of the women I went through this journey with. I really gained a lot of useful knowledge and am sad this is ending! I would absolutely recommend this course and would not hesitate to take another course with Naomi again. ~ Valerie F.

I was initially drawn to work with Naomi Kimbell after reading her honest, innovative writing. Naomi brings an incredible depth of living with her whole heart and mind to her work and teaching. Her passion, curiosity and extensive knowledge of the craft of writing is inspiring. In her writing course she shared diverse and stimulating prompts that included still photographs, different forms, and the writing of authors which opened new spaces inside me and helped deepen the texture and dimension of my poetry. Naomi has a gift for encouraging people to express their unique voice. She listens and communicates with keen intelligence and deep compassion. I appreciate the way she weaves together her sense of humor, new perspectives, great questions and her practical and diligent work ethic. Naomi is an engaging and motivating teacher. ~ Youpa Stein

Naomi’s class is one of the most inspiring classes I’ve ever taken! I’ve never been a flowery writer, and often focused more on meaning, rather than sentence structure and word choice. Writing a lyric essay is something I’ve always dreamed of, but I didn’t really understand the concept until I took her class, “Music, Truth, and the Towns Inside Us: A Cross-Genre Exploratory Workshop.” It changed my life! I now understand how to edit sentences and words down to syllables and consonants to make my prose sing. She created a vibrant learning atmosphere, full of rooms, prompts, videos, and discussion. I usually like to write in silence, but our first assignment was writing to music she selected. The words that flowed from my pen amazed me, and that was due to Naomi’s instruction and safe learning environment. My classmates’ work was impressive, and we had so much fun providing feedback on each other’s essays, poems, fiction, and free-writes. Naomi’s insight into the class book, The Triggering Town, along with her thought-provoking discussion and encouraging feedback made this class exceptional. I’d love to take every class she offers. Her teaching style is compassionate and knowledgeable, and her suggestions for use of language are detailed and eye opening. Taking her class helped me look at the world with wonder. In the past my writing has been described as flat and reporterly. Well, never again. Now I want to go back and revise all my essays for sound. I know Naomi’s class has made me a better writer, and I can’t thank her enough! ~ Angela M. (previous WOW class participant)

Many thanks to Naomi Kimbell for dreaming up the “Music, Truth, and the Towns Inside Us” class I just took. I loved it. I’d read Richard Hugo’s Triggering Town years ago, but I must confess I didn’t completely understand the nuances of all that he was saying. It was a pleasure to be invited to participate in a thoughtful discussion. Naomi not only knows how to write, but also how to guide. I felt like she provided a safe space to experiment and submit my work for review and comments. She was prepared and available throughout the course. I would absolutely take more classes with Naomi. ~ Victoria Melekian (previous WOW class participant)

Naomi seeks a straightforwardness that does not embellish, but, rather, gets to essences—essential ideas, the essence of a story, the deep impulses that drive us to act as we do...she’s a writer of exceptional talent—one of the few who endeavor to compose personal stories as literary works...she finds the unusual within the commonplace, the surprising within the predictable. ~ Judy Blunt, author of Breaking Clean

Naomi Kimbell chooses her words like a poet. She reads Richard Hugo and Robert Wrigley, and Homer. Like these authors, Naomi is a careful, descriptive, and smart writer. Because Naomi is a true scholar, she knows things ... She has an ear for beauty, and BS—like no one else I’ve ever met. ~ Karin Schalm, author of Poems of Peace in these Warring Times

Naomi Kimbell knows the boundaries of nonfiction, and lucky for us she knows the perfect ways to challenge them. Whether she’s writing about family dynamics or mental illness, Naomi does more than tell a story—she engages the reader in all of her essays as form and content interact. With a fresh and invigorating writing style, her words bring you into each essay and, believe me, once inside you’ll never want to leave. ~ Chelsey Clammer, author of BodyHome and Circadian

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

WEEK 1: The Writing Community

Although writing itself is a solitary endeavor, having a community of support is essential. In this first week, we’ll get to know one another, discuss our practice as writers, what we bring to the table, and what we hope to achieve over the next nine weeks. Additionally, I’ll assign submission dates for your works-in-progress: Two students will submit their work in week one for discussion and review by their peers in week two. Two more students will submit the following week, & etc. Detailed instructions for submission and feedback will be provided, and volunteers for these first two slots will be applauded for going first.

WEEKS 2 - 9: Workshop

Week 2 begins our writing workshops in which the first two submissions will be reviewed and critiqued in a supportive but challenging manner. Feedback in this class is meant to help writers develop insight into their work, hone skills, and reach beyond perceived limits. These goals are lofty but necessary if any writer wants to make leaps in their craft. Writers in the Writers Workshop will give and receive genuinely thoughtful feedback that is supportive of class goals.

Subsequent weeks will maintain the same format, differing in week five, during which the second round of submissions will begin, and participants will either submit a second piece or pieces for review (5000 word max), or submit their edited pieces to receive feedback on revisions.

Each week, I’ll post additional materials for you to read that will support your work, pique your interest, and help fuel your imagination. We’ll have lively discussions and develop a close-knit group of writers cheering one another on. Writing is akin to playing the long game. There’s no shortcut to getting better, and we need a community who will support and challenge us along the way.

Materials needed: All materials provided.

How the class will be conducted: Students will be invited to a private online classroom using Google Classroom. All course materials and discussion will be posted to this platform. The class is asynchronous so you can access the class at any time according to your schedule. There are no real-time discussions. Students will need a computer with an internet connection and will have access to the class two days before class begins and for one week after the class concludes.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Naomi Kimbell earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana, and her work has appeared in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Crazyhorse, Black Warrior Review, Calyx, The Sonder Review, and other literary journals and anthologies. To learn more about Naomi, please visit her website.

COST:  $180, which includes weekly assignments, individual feedback from the instructor, and access to a private group for student interactions.

BUY NOW: The Writers Workshop - Creative Nonfiction with Naomi Kimbell (9 weeks, starting 1/4/2021) Limit: 8 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check here for our current schedule.

For Class Session Starting 1/4/2021

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Notes: Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. Just before class begins, she will e-mail you with instructions on how to get started.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
classroom[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com

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