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Writing from Life: Creative Ways to Tell Your Stories





Guest Artists

Dinty W.Moore, Katey​ Schult​z, Mark Arax, Armen Bacon​​


Learn how to make memories into memoirs, ideas into essays, and life into literature. Explore cross-genre forms to tell real-life stories through memoir, essay, creative nonfiction, and auto-fiction. You'll work with a variety of award-winning authors, explore traditional and experimental forms, and compose pieces suitable for publication.

Who should take this class

Anyone eager to learn, engage and share work with peers and guest artist mentors is welcome. A background in creative writing is helpful but not necessary.

Required application materials

  • Creative writing sample of any genre (fiction, memoir, essay, creative nonfiction, or prose poems) of up to five pages double-spaced.

Course Coordinator

Carole Firstman

Guest Artists

Emily Springer

Dinty W. Moore

​Dinty W. Moore  is author of the memoir "Between Panic & Desire," winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize, "The Accidental Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still," and is editor of "The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction." He has published essays and stories in many notable publications, and is founding editor of Brevity, the journal of flash nonfiction.​

Katey Schultz​

​Katey Schultz is the author of "Flashes of War" and "Still Come Home." Honors for her work include the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year award, five Pushcart nominations, and a nomination to Best American Short Stories, among many others. She is the founder of Maximum Impact, a mentoring service for creative writers.​

Mark ​Arax​​​

Mark Arax' stories have been turned into a song by Bruce Springsteen, a movie about the boy runners from McFarland and a state law banning the mistreatment of farm workers in the fields. His newest book, "The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California" is being hailed by critics as one of the most important books ever written about the West.

Armen Bacon

Armen Bacon is an op ed columnist and author of three books: "Griefland – An Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss, and Unlikely Friendship," and “My Name is Armen” (Volumes I & II). Her essays have appeared in Maria Shriver’s Architects of Change, Entropy, Brevity Blog, Hybred Magazine, Streetlight Magazine and The Fresno Bee. Armen is busy working on her next book project, “Daring to Breathe.” ​