Editors’ Blog

“Writing From Experience”: A Stephen Elliott Class

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

By Larry Smith

If you’re working on a memoir, or thinking about it—and you know we all are—two hours learning about the craft with writer Stephen Elliott are a very good idea. Elliott is the founder of The online magazine, The Rumpus, and author of seven books including the recently published, The Adderall Diaries—and the embodiment of what it means to be a working writer (read his much-discussed essay about his DIY book tour for The New York Times).

A friend of SMITH and sometimes partner-in-events, Elliott is doing his “Writing From Experience” lecture on March 11 in NYC. Here’s what he says about it:

Your experiences, and how you process them, are what make you unique as an individual. They are also the most valuable things we can offer readers. We will talk about writing from experience in fiction and nonfiction, and how to use our lives as jumping off points and framing devices for the stories we tell about ourselves and others. We will also talk about the dangers of writing from experience and overcoming the blocks set in place (often unnecessarily) by our fears of exposure. We will look at strategies for getting past those fears and for dealing with friends and relatives whose memories might be different from our own. Finally, we will focus on unlocking our lives and the joy and value of integrating the worlds we know with the worlds we create.

The price for the two-hour lecture is $30, and SMITH readers get $6 off. Use the passcode “SMITH” when you sign up.

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