Faith’s First-Ever Private Class!


Do people always say, “You should write a book!”? Are you already writing that book but yearn for more time or direction? Been meaning to turn your travels/life into magazine articles? Overwhelmed by how to structure complicated cultural or family histories? Need someone who can offer both a hug and a kick in the pants? 


6-Week Online Creative Nonfiction Workshop

September 2 – October 11 , 2013

Limited to 8 students

$450.00 First-time victims, er, students

$390.00 If you have studied with Faith in any capacity before, or refer someone who registers

Total due in advance via PayPal


I grew up as the only mixed/black girl in my town and family with a tough, loving mom, and I’ve been seeking that winning combination ever since. In school at Harvard and The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I was considered too caring and spiritual; here in California I’m considered too demanding and professional. So I’m embracing my split identity, offering workshops that combine support and encouragement in a safe space, with practical advice and honest feedback. And lots of laughter.

In this workshop, you’ll learn to travel in both directions personal narrative/creative nonfiction (CNF) demands: down into the self and memory to call up the details that make your story unique, and out into the world insearch of metaphors and themes that resonate with your readers. My techniques including researching names and generational markers, creating personal history timelines, mapping the body and neighborhoods, sensory exercises to uncover and interpret memories, and determining the structure that your particular story needs.


Both emerging (you want to get started!) and advanced (you want to finish!) writers with a project. A “project” might be a journal you always meant to turn into stories, a goal to sell a magazine piece or to create stand-alone essays from a manuscript, polishing a portfolio to apply for MFA programs, starting or finishing your book-in-progress, or working on the book proposal.

Because class is online and always open, you can live anywhere and have any schedule. I define CNF broadly and have taught memoir, travel writing, personal essay, journals/diaries, literary journalism, and intersections like lyric essay, autobiographical fiction and hybrid manuscripts around the world.


This is an online workshop, using a free, user-friendly educational platform similar to those used by universities or online programs like Stanford’s Online Writing Studio. You can log on anytime, and there will be weekly, optional chat sessions using free online software.

Every Saturday I will activate a unit lesson (including a lecture about some aspect of craft, published readings, and writing exercises/prompts). The exercises will help you uncover/produce new material and exercise that particular craft muscle/apply it to your own existing work. Those of you already underway on longer projects are free to modify the exercise or ignore it and instead post pages of your manuscripts-in-progress.

From Monday to Thursday you will post your own work and offer constructive suggestions on your classmates’. Workshopping will help you recognize similar issues in your own writing and establish a supportive community of readers (most of my students stay together after class ends). You can also expect personalized feedback (heavy on the Tough or the Love, as you want) from me.

The week ends on Friday with a live videoconference (or chat, if your computer doesn’t have video), where we can discuss your questions, problems you’re encountering, next steps for revision, the business of the writing profession, etc.


  • To learn the building blocks of CNF, including the 6 elements of character presentation, 5 elements of setting, 3 elements of scene, plus techniques like balancing head and heart data, and when to use the Vertical-I.
  • To discover your theme (the larger story you want to communicate to the world), and the structure/form your particular project wants.
  • To discover and protect your authentic voice, and learn how to create narrative authority that persuades readers through showing AND telling.
  • To learn how to create historical and cultural contexts that bring your story to life.
  • Personalized critique and individualized exercises/tips on the work you post in class (if you want line-by-line edits or feedback on your entire manuscript, hire me for mentoring or editing).
  • A community of readers invested in your success, plus strategies for continuing your project.
  • Exercises and checklists for generating new work and revising existing work.
  • An introduction to the business of writing/ the writing profession.
  • World domination and better living through CNF.
  • A discount on future classes and daylong refresher workshops.


Go to STUDY WITH FAITH and pay via PayPal to reserve your space.

2 responses »

  1. I just registered for your class. I’m so excited!


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