E.B. Bartels

Nonfiction mafia.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Michelle Kuo

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on December 13, 2017.

Michelle Kuo was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to immigrants from Taiwan. After graduating with a degree in Social Studies and Gender Studies from Harvard College, she joined Teach for America and moved to the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Kuo’s memoirReading with Patrick, is about her time teaching in Helena and, later, returning to the Delta to help one of her students after he is imprisoned for murder. Kuo teaches in the History, Law, and Society program at the American University of Paris on issues related to race, punishment, immigration, and the law. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the LA Review of Books, Poets & Writers magazine, and Literary Hub, among others. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kuokuomich.

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Write about holiday family drama with me at GrubStreet!

Give yourself a present this holiday season and sign up to take my winter GrubStreet multi-week course: Writing About Family! You know you want to. You are going to have so many family stories to write about by the time December is over. Work through that holiday family tension with nonfiction! The timing is ideal.

The class begins on January 10, 2018 and runs through March 14, 2018, meeting from 10:30am-1:30pm for ten Wednesdays.

Here’s the course description:

As a nonfiction writer, you often pull material from your own life, and that means you may end up writing about the people closest to you: your family. But this brings up some tough questions: How is it possible to create a well-rounded portrait of someone you don’t want to upset? How can you ever get past the thought: what will my grandmother think when she reads this? In addition, when writing about family members who have passed or about intimate family history, how can you avoid falling into the trap of nostalgia and sentimentality? These are exactly the questions that we will tackle. In this ten-week course, you will write several short pieces, including a profile of someone near and dear to you, as well as a retelling of a family story that happened before your time. Through discussion of published works, craft lectures, and workshops, we will delve deeper into the elements of nonfiction that can elevate a personal piece of writing. You will leave the class with several short works based on your family history that you can continue to develop into polished personal essays or memoir pieces. Readings may include excerpts by Mary Karr, Maxine Hong Kingston, Alison Bechdel, Margo Jefferson, Tobias Wolff, Phillip Roth, David Sedaris, Janet Mock, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the “APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP” button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee’s decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Sarah Perry

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on November 20, 2017.

Sarah Perry is the author of After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, a Daughter’s Search, a memoir about her mother Crystal’s murder when Perry was twelve and the subsequent over-a-decade-long investigation. Perry holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction from Columbia University, where she served as publisher of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art and was a member of the journal’s nonfiction editorial board. She is the recipient of a Writers’ Fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and a Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, and has attended residencies at Norton Island in Maine and PLAYA in Oregon. Perry’s prose has appeared in Blood & Thunder magazine, Bluestockings Literary JournalElle.com, and The Guardian. She lives in Brooklyn and should not be confused with the British author Sarah Perry.

Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book 2018!

Have you ever been stranded at sea and thought, Man, I could really use an up-to-date tide chart and would also like to read some flash nonfiction about a dead sea turtle?

Well, lucky you! My short nonfiction piece “Vulnerable” is the winner of this year’s Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book story contest, and you can read it on page 192 of the 2018 edition of the Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book

Thank you to Jenny White Kuliesis, Peter Kuliesis, Robert Eldridge White, Jr., and everyone at Eldridge for publishing me! I am honored to be included in such an important nautical text with an incredible, long history.

You can buy your copy of the 2018 Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book on Amazon, at West Marine, or at any one of these local tackle shops, boat marinas, and independent bookstores. They even sell copies at Pirate’s Cove Marine on Fishers Island!

 

 

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Daisy Hernández

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on October 18, 2017.

Daisy Hernández is the author of A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir and coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. The former editor of ColorLines magazine, she has written for The Atlantic, The New York Timesand NPR’s All Things Considered and CodeSwitch, and her essays have appeared in the Bellingham Review, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, Hunger Mountain, The Rumpus, and TricycleShe is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Miami University in Ohio.

Reminder about upcoming classes at GrubStreet!

In the next few weeks I am teaching four different one-day classes at GrubStreet––two for teens, two for adults, and three are 100% completely FREE, including the Brown Bag session which is A WEEK FROM TODAY!

Check out the course descriptions below, and let me know if you have any questions. Sign up now!

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FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series
Wednesday, October 18, 12:30pm-1:15pm

  • Open to all writers.
  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • No registration necessary!

Do you work downtown and want to fit some writing into your day? Or do you have a schedule that gives you free afternoons instead of evenings? Join our FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series.

Bring your lunch and come on over to GrubStreet on Wednesday, October 18th from 12:30pm – 1:15pm. For 45 minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some cool writing exercises. Led by one of our award-winning instructors or ambassadors.

Best of all, you’ll leave lunch with some new ideas to ponder for the rest of your day and beyond. No need to RSVP — just come!

*Be sure to arrive early, as space is limited!

—-

Young Adult Writers Program: Playwriting for Drama Queens and Kings
Saturday, October 21, 12pm-4pm

  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • Includes free pizza for lunch!

Has someone ever told you to stop being so dramatic? If so, disregard that advice and come take Drama Queens and Kings! Through acting and improv games, you will generate material to create the beginnings of your own play and figure out what it takes to make drama exciting, interesting, and, well, dramatic. In addition to theatre exercises, you will work off writing prompts to help inspire engaging dialogue and read excerpts from great playwrights, both contemporary and classic. By the end of the class, you will have one or more scenes that you will be able expand into a play. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

Join GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), a FREE creative writing workshop for Boston-area high schoolers. Our students come from a wide variety of high schools in the Boston area and enjoy cool writing exercises, mingling with fellow young writers, snacks, and an optional open mic. After four great years, YAWP has already been recognized by the Boston Globe as Boston’s hub for writing teenagers. You must be 13-18 years to register.

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Writing About Family
Saturday, November 11, 10am-5pm

  • 6-hour seminar.
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!

As a nonfiction writer, you often pull material from your own life, and that means you may end up writing about the people closest to you: your family. But this brings up some tough questions: How is it possible to create a well-rounded portrait of someone you don’t want to upset? How can you ever get past the thought: what will my grandmother think when she reads this? In addition, when writing about family members who have passed or about intimate family history, how can you avoid falling into the trap of nostalgia and sentimentality? These are exactly the questions that we will tackle over the course of our six-hour session. In this one-day class, we will read excerpts from many nonfiction writers who have braved the topic of their families and attempt several writing prompts in response to the reading. This course will be a mix of a discussion-based seminar and a generative writing session, so students can leave the class with the beginnings of several pieces about their families. Readings may include excerpts by Mary Karr, Maxine Hong Kingston, Alison Bechdel, Margo Jefferson, Tobias Wolff, Phillip Roth, David Sedaris, Janet Mock, and Vladimir Nabokov.

—-

Young Adult Writers Program: Writing Inspired by Found Objects
Saturday, November 18, 12pm-4pm

  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • Includes free pizza for lunch!

Have you ever found an old photograph at a flea market and wondered: who are these people, and what is their story? That’s how Ransom Riggs wrote Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, structuring the plotline entirely around found photographs. Using Miss Peregrine as our model, this course will be all about looking for inspiration for your writing in the objects that surround you, creating narratives out of things that already exist. We will look at an array of items––old photographs, video footage, antique maps, even junk and trash––and find the stories and poems hidden within. You’re welcome to bring in your own items, but objects will be provided––you just need to find their story. We will even take a trip to the antiques store next to GrubStreet for inspiration! This course will also explore the relationship between images and words, looking at examples such as Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck and Tom Phillips’s A Humument. A great course for those who are visual artists in addition to writers. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

Join GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), a FREE creative writing workshop for Boston-area high schoolers. Our students come from a wide variety of high schools in the Boston area and enjoy cool writing exercises, mingling with fellow young writers, snacks, and an optional open mic. After four great years, YAWP has already been recognized by the Boston Globe as Boston’s hub for writing teenagers. You must be 13-18 years to register.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Samantha Irby

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on September 13, 2017.

Samantha Irby is the writer behind the blog bitches gotta eat and the author of Meaty: Essays (Curbside Splendor Publishing, 2013), New Year, Same Trash: Resolutions I Absolutely Did Not Keep (Vintage, 2017), and We Are Never Meeting In Real Life: Essays (Vintage, 2017). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Rumpus, and Jezebel, among others. You can follow Irby on Twitter at @wordscience.

Fall classes at GrubStreet!

Hey, are you totally bummed you didn’t get to take a class with me at GrubStreet this summer? Good thing I am teaching a whole bunch this fall.

Sign up now! Contact me with any questions.

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Creative Nonfiction I
Fridays, September 15 – November 17, 6pm-9pm

  • 10-week course.
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!

What defines creative nonfiction? Writers can’t even agree on the name: “Few seem willing to embrace the term,” writes essayist and memoirist Dinty W. Moore, “though by this point, almost everyone uses it.” And yet, the fundamentals of creative nonfiction are as old as Montaigne, and the genre has thrived in recent decades—from the tell-all memoirs of Mary Karr to the online personal essay boom. More readers are feeling “reality hunger,” it seems, craving stories based in fact.
 
In this course, we’ll explore what creative nonfiction is, what it isn’t, and what it might be, examining a mix of published nonfiction works—personal essays, memoirs, lyric essays, narrative journalism—to better understand the array of styles and approaches writers bring to true stories they tell. Focusing on voice, details, perspective and language, we’ll analyze work that fits neatly within nonfiction norms as well as boundary-pushing work that lives on the fringe, and apply this craft awareness to our own writing. Authors may include: Hilton Als, Eula Biss, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Doyle, Roxane Gay, Leslie Jamison, Margo Jefferson, Maxine Hong Kingston, Maggie Nelson, and/or Mary Roach.

During ten weeks of class, students will submit at least two manuscripts up to fifteen pages each, and learn to critique the work of their peers. You’ll gain a strong foundational knowledge of creative nonfiction, along with a sense of its possibilities and where such work is being published. This class is ideal for novice writers or more experienced writers looking to delve into this ever-evolving and flourishing genre.

—-

FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series
Wednesday, October 18, 12:30pm-1:15pm

  • Open to all writers.
  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • No registration necessary!

Do you work downtown and want to fit some writing into your day? Or do you have a schedule that gives you free afternoons instead of evenings? Join our FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series.

Bring your lunch and come on over to GrubStreet on Wednesday, October 18th from 12:30pm – 1:15pm. For 45 minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some cool writing exercises. Led by one of our award-winning instructors or ambassadors.

Best of all, you’ll leave lunch with some new ideas to ponder for the rest of your day and beyond. No need to RSVP — just come!

*Be sure to arrive early, as space is limited!

—-

Young Adult Writers Program: Playwriting for Drama Queens and Kings
Saturday, October 21, 12pm-4pm

  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • Includes free pizza for lunch!

Has someone ever told you to stop being so dramatic? If so, disregard that advice and come take Drama Queens and Kings! Through acting and improv games, you will generate material to create the beginnings of your own play and figure out what it takes to make drama exciting, interesting, and, well, dramatic. In addition to theatre exercises, you will work off writing prompts to help inspire engaging dialogue and read excerpts from great playwrights, both contemporary and classic. By the end of the class, you will have one or more scenes that you will be able expand into a play. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

Join GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), a FREE creative writing workshop for Boston-area high schoolers. Our students come from a wide variety of high schools in the Boston area and enjoy cool writing exercises, mingling with fellow young writers, snacks, and an optional open mic. After four great years, YAWP has already been recognized by the Boston Globe as Boston’s hub for writing teenagers. You must be 13-18 years to register.

—-

Writing About Family
Saturday, November 11, 10am-5pm

  • 6-hour seminar.
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!

Course description and sign-up link coming soon!

—-

Young Adult Writers Program: Writing Inspired by Found Objects
Saturday, November 18, 12pm-4pm

  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • Includes free pizza for lunch!

Have you ever found an old photograph at a flea market and wondered: who are these people, and what is their story? That’s how Ransom Riggs wrote Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, structuring the plotline entirely around found photographs. Using Miss Peregrine as our model, this course will be all about looking for inspiration for your writing in the objects that surround you, creating narratives out of things that already exist. We will look at an array of items––old photographs, video footage, antique maps, even junk and trash––and find the stories and poems hidden within. You’re welcome to bring in your own items, but objects will be provided––you just need to find their story. We will even take a trip to the antiques store next to GrubStreet for inspiration! This course will also explore the relationship between images and words, looking at examples such as Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck and Tom Phillips’s A Humument. A great course for those who are visual artists in addition to writers. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

Join GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), a FREE creative writing workshop for Boston-area high schoolers. Our students come from a wide variety of high schools in the Boston area and enjoy cool writing exercises, mingling with fellow young writers, snacks, and an optional open mic. After four great years, YAWP has already been recognized by the Boston Globe as Boston’s hub for writing teenagers. You must be 13-18 years to register.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Miranda K. Pennington

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on August 14, 2017.

Miranda K. Pennington is the author of A Girl Walks into a Book: What the Brontës Taught Me about Life, Love, and Women’s Work (Seal Press, 2017). Her work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar online, The Ploughshares blog, and The Catapult Podcast. Pennington received her MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University, where she also was a University Writing Instructor. In addition, she has taught academic writing at Touro College, SUNY Empire State, and the LEDA Institute, and she has led creative writing workshops for the AmpLit festival and Uptown Stories. This fall, Pennington will join the writing faculty of American University in Washington, D.C.

Need a writing coach, English tutor, or editor? Hire me!

Did you know that I am available for hire as a private writing/English tutor in the Boston area? Well, I am! I can also provide assistance as a writing coach remotely, via email and Google Docs. Learn more about my teaching experience on my website.

Did you know that I also work as a freelance editor? Well, now you do! I’m happy to help with all editing needs, from personal statements to college essays to cover letters to book-length projects. Learn more about my editing experience, also on my website.

Please use the contact me form to inquire about rates and references. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

AllisonandAJontheAT

Together hiking the Appalachian Trail from April to October, 2015!

E.B. Bartels

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