E.B. Bartels

Nonfiction mafia.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Meghan Flaherty

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on June 20, 2018.

Meghan Flaherty is the author of Tango Lessonsa personal history of Argentine tango, that was published in June 2018 by Houghton Mifflin HarcourtFlaherty received her MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in literary nonfiction. Her essays and translations have appeared in Psychology Today and The Iowa Review, and online at CatapultThe New York Times, The Rumpus, Asymptote, and elsewhere. She lives with her husband, baby, and rescue mastiff in northern California, and enjoys purchasing vegetables in Romance languages around the world. 

 

 

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Just a reminder!

My summer classes at GrubStreet start very soon! If you are considering signing up, stop stalling and register today.

Please contact me if you have any questions. Hope to see you around GrubStreet (either in person or virtually) this summer!

GrubStreet summer classes: teen edition!

Are you a teenager who wants to take a creative writing class this summer? Then you should consider signing up for one of the two week-long teen writing camps I am teaching at GrubStreet: Week of Drama: Playwriting and Screenwriting runs from July 16 through July 20, and August Week of Creative Writing for Teens: Section A runs from August 6 through August 10. Keep reading for more information!

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Week of Drama: Playwriting and Screenwriting
Monday, July 16 – Friday, July 20, 10:30am-3:30pm

  • 5-day teen writing camp.
  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • Scholarships available!

Do you know all the words to every song in Hamilton? Are you constantly watching old movies on Netflix? Do you live for the spotlight? Are the Academy Awards your personal Super Bowl? Then this week-long course on playwriting and screenwriting is for you! Designed for theatre geeks, musical nerds, film buffs, and series bingers we will study what makes for great dialogue, character development, pacing, and plot structure when it comes to plays and movies. During this course, you will have the chance to try your hand at writing your own original play or screenplay and also learning the art of adapting a work for the stage or screen as we study famous screenwriters and playwrights from Jordan Peele to Wes Anderson to Mindy Kaling to Nora Ephron to Suzan-Lori Parks to Martin McDonagh to, of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

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August Week of Creative Writing for Teens: Section A
Monday, August 6 – Friday, August 10, 10:30am-3:30pm

  • 5-day teen writing camp.
  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • Scholarships available!

In this week-long general creative writing course, we won’t discriminate based on genre! Whether you’re working on your first novel or writing memoir, short stories, poetry, plays, or fan fiction, this is an opportunity to improve your skills and learn about new forms. Each day will be filled with exercises designed to get you creating, and to expose you to new genres you may not have previously explored. What is flash fiction anyway? Does nonfiction have to be 500-page biographies of dead presidents? Do my characters have to be likable? How can I make my reader feel the way I am feeling? Do I have to stay confined to one genre? We’ll explore these questions and more! This class is geared toward creative, energetic, and open-minded writers all of levels who aren’t afraid to try something new. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

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Again, let me know if you have any questions! Sign up today!

GrubStreet summer classes: adult edition!

Are you an adult who wants to take a creative writing class this summer? Then you should consider signing up for one of the two classes I am teaching for GrubStreet starting in June: Non-Fiction by Non-Men, taught at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston on Monday nights from 6pm-9pm, or Intro to Creative Nonfiction: Online, which you can take from anywhere! Keep reading for more information.

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Non-Fiction by Non-Men
Mondays, June 4 – August 6, 6pm-9pm

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

We don’t know about you, but if we read another essay about shooting elephants or drinking war buddies under the table at a Barcelona bar or hanging out by a famous Concord pond, we’re going to throw ourselves into the Charles. If you’re looking to learn about nonfiction writers outside the range of those typically taught in English class, take this ten-week course to study and learn from some of the greatest contemporary women and non-binary folks writing nonfiction, with a special emphasis on women of color and LGBTQ individuals. In each class, we will study both the works of these writers and look at interviews with each of them discussing their craft, taken from the site Fiction Advocate’s interview series Non-Fiction by Non-Men. The reading list will include but is not limited to: Margo Jefferson, Michelle Kuo, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Edwidge Danticat, Suki Kim, Nina MacLaughlin, Samantha Irby, Eula Biss, Daisy Hernández, and Scaachi Koul. In addition to reading and studying works by these writers, for each class you will be expected to respond to writing prompts inspired by the works we have read. You will leave this course with the beginnings of several new pieces of your own nonfiction writing, a broadened knowledge of the range of individuals writing contemporary nonfiction, and an understanding of useful techniques and strategies for conducting interviews. Plus, you will have the chance to be a guest interviewer in the Non-Fiction by Non-Men series and publish an interview of your own on Fiction Advocate.

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Intro to Creative Nonfiction: Online
ONLINE, June 12 – July 17

  • My first ONLINE course with GrubStreet!
  • 6-week course.
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!
  • Did I mention it is ONLINE so you can take it from ANYWHERE?!

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. Intro to Creative Nonfiction Online will introduce you to this inventive form, with the flexibility of scheduling your own weekly attendance.

In this six-week 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, criticism, lyric essays, narrative journalism, flash nonfiction, autobiographical comics, nonfiction poetry, and hybrid genre work—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, but are not limited to: Hilton Als, Eula Biss, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Doyle, Roxane Gay, Leslie Jamison, Margo Jefferson, Maxine Hong Kingston, Maggie Nelson, and Mary Roach.

During the six weeks of class, students will respond to six short prompts inspired by our reading each week. This class is classified as a survey, which means the focus is on introducing students to new topics and forms of writing. Though student work will be discussed, the emphasis is not on formal, instructor-driven critique, but on learning, class discussion, and writing exercises. While there are no live meetings to attend, students will be expected to complete weekly readings and exercises by a specified day each week and to contribute to online class discussions. At the end of the class, students will have the opportunity to submit one revised piece to the instructor for feedback, and recommendations on next steps. Please expect to devote 4-6 hours/week to this class, in which 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.

*Note that while our handy dandy “Schedule” tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Assignments and deadlines will be given by your instructor. Students will have access to the online class portal starting at 5pm on the first day of class. Instructions for logging onto the online portal will be emailed to registered students before 5pm the first day of class.

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Let me know if you have any questions!

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Anne Fadiman

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on May 7, 2018.

Anne-Fadiman

Anne Fadiman is an author, essayist, journalist, editor, and teacher. She is the author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down; Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader; At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays; and, most recently, The Wine Lover’s Daughter, a memoir about her father, the writer Clifton FadimanShe is the editor of The Best American Essays 2003 and Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love, and for seven years was the editor of The American Scholar. Currently, Fadiman is the inaugural Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale, where she teaches in the English department and serves as a mentor to students considering careers in writing or editing.

P.S. This interview features some very special vintage correspondence between thirteen-year-old E.B. and Anne Fadiman.

Happy birthday, Non-Fiction by Non-Men!

n-f by n-m birthday

Three years ago today, on April 28, 2015, Brian Hurley published my very first Non-Fiction by Non-Men interview with Patricia O’Toole. I can’t believe that it has been three years, and so I wanted to take a moment to pause and thank some people who have made this whole Non-Fiction by Non-Men thing possible.

Thank you, Patty, for your willingness to be the first interviewee in the series. You started it all three years ago. Thank you!

Thank you, Brian, for giving me a platform to publish Non-Fiction by Non-Men (I love being part of Fiction Advocate!), for your careful, helpful, and perfect edits, for always sending me suggestions for future interviewees, and for being the column’s number one champion. Non-Fiction by Non-Men exists because of you!

Thank you to everyone who has read my interviews over the past three years, especially those of you who have taken the time to read every single one (hi, Mom and Dad).

And, of course, thank you to every writer who has let me interview her. Non-Fiction by Non-Men would not exist without the generosity of your time and the care and thoughtfulness you take in answering my questions. It has been my greatest pleasure getting to speak with each of you about writing (and reading and teaching and journaling and studying Russian and going to therapy and drinking beer and having pets and whatever else has come up over the course of our conversations), and I have learned so much from each and every one of you. Thank you again for your time and for being supportive of your fellow writers, especially the new ones who are just starting out, like me. Thank you.

As of this month, I have published thirty-seven interviews on Fiction Advocate (for a complete list, go here) and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. Just wait and see who I have lined up for this spring and summer.

Happy birthday, Non-Fiction by Non-Men!

You can still sign up for 6 Weeks, 6 Essays!

grubstreet logo

It’s not too late to sign up for my class 6 Weeks, 6 Essays at GrubStreet! It now starts this Wednesday, April 25, and runs through Wednesday, May 30. Six sessions, meeting 10:30am to 1:30pm. Here’s the course description:

In this fun, intensive class, over the course of six weeks, writers will produce six short essays (between 500 and 1,000 words each). Each week we will look at model essays, including pieces by, but not limited to, Eula Biss, Roxane Gay, Brian Doyle, Margo Jefferson, Natalia Ginzburg, David Sedaris, Leslie Jamison, and Daisy Hernández. Students will respond to prompts based on the works we have read and bring copies of their completed essays to class each week, where they will read them aloud and receive on-the-spot feedback in brief workshop sessions. At the end of the class, students will leave with a path forward to possible publication for their half-a-dozen essay drafts!

Sign up today!

 

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Anya Yurchyshyn

 

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on April 9, 2018.

Anya-Yurchyshyn

Anya Yurchyshyn is the author of My Dead Parents: A Memoir, published by Crown in March 2018. Yurchyshyn received her MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University, and her work has appeared in Esquire, Oprah MagazineN+1BuzzfeedTwo Serious Ladies, Mod Art, GuernicaElimaeand NOONYurchyshyn’s story “The Director” was included in Best Small Fictions of 2015She lives in New York and teaches at Columbia.

On Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 7pm, Anya Yurchyshyn and E.B. Bartels will be in conversation in an event at Newtonville Books in Newton, MA. If you are in the Boston area, come see Non-Fiction by Non-Men in real life!

Conversation with Anya Yurchyshyn at Newtonville Books

One week from tonight (actually, exactly one week from RIGHT NOW) I will be in conversation with Anya Yurchyshyn at Newtonville Books. Anya’s debut memoir My Dead Parents is phenomenal, and I am excited to chat with her about her book, her writing and research process, and what it’s like to write about family. I hope to see you there! Think of it as Non-Fiction by Non-Men Live.

 

Reading with Anya Yurchyshyn in conversation with E.B. Bartels

Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 7:00 PM

Newtonville Books
10 Langley Rd
Newton, MA 02459

Newtonville Books welcomes Anya Yurchyshyn, author of MY DEAD PARENTS: A MEMOIR, in conversation with E.B. Bartels. All events are free and open to the public, first come, first seated, no registration required.

About MY DEAD PARENTS: Anya Yurchyshyn grew up in a narrow townhouse in Boston, every corner filled with the souvenirs of her parents’ adventurous international travels. On their trips to Egypt, Italy, and Saudi Arabia, her mother, Anita, and her father, George, lived an entirely separate life from the one they led as the parents of Anya and her sister – one that Anya never saw. The parents she knew were a brittle, manipulative alcoholic and a short-tempered disciplinarian: people she imagined had never been in love.

When she was sixteen, Anya’s father was killed in a car accident in Ukraine. At thirty-two, she became an orphan when her mother drank herself to death. As she was cleaning out her childhood home, she suddenly discovered a trove of old letters, photographs, and journals hidden in the debris of her mother’s life. These lost documents told a very different story than the one she’d believed to be true – of a forbidden romance; of a loving marriage, and the loss of a child. With these revelations in hand, Anya undertook an investigation, interviewing relatives and family friends, traveling to Wales and Ukraine, and delving deeply into her own difficult history in search of the truth, even uncovering the real circumstances of her father’s death – not an accident, perhaps, but something more sinister.

In this inspiring and unflinchingly honest debut memoir, Anya interrogates her memories of her family and examines what it means to be our parents’ children. What do we inherit, and what can we choose to leave behind? How do we escape the ghosts of someone else’s past? And can we learn to love our parents not as our parents, but simply as people? Universal and personal; heartbreaking and redemptive, My Dead Parents helps us to see why sometimes those who love us best hurt us most.

Spring and summer classes at GrubStreet!

It may still be snowing in Boston (!!!!), but it’s time to start thinking about taking a spring or summer class at GrubStreet! Here is the upcoming list of courses I will be teaching in the next few months. Sign up today!

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6 Weeks, 6 Essays
Starts NEXT WEDNESDAY!
Wednesdays, April 11 – May 16, 10:30am-1:30pm

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

In this fun, intensive class, over the course of six weeks, writers will produce six short essays (between 500 and 1,000 words each). Each week we will look at model essays, including pieces by, but not limited to, Eula Biss, Roxane Gay, Brian Doyle, Margo Jefferson, Natalia Ginzburg, David Sedaris, Leslie Jamison, and Daisy Hernández. Students will respond to prompts based on the works we have read and bring copies of their completed essays to class each week, where they will read them aloud and receive on-the-spot feedback in brief workshop sessions. At the end of the class, students will leave with a path forward to possible publication for their half-a-dozen essay drafts!

—-

Non-Fiction by Non-Men
Mondays, June 4 – August 6, 6pm-9pm

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

We don’t know about you, but if we read another essay about shooting elephants or drinking war buddies under the table at a Barcelona bar or hanging out by a famous Concord pond, we’re going to throw ourselves into the Charles. If you’re looking to learn about nonfiction writers outside the range of those typically taught in English class, take this ten-week course to study and learn from some of the greatest contemporary women and non-binary folks writing nonfiction, with a special emphasis on women of color and LGBTQ individuals. In each class, we will study both the works of these writers and look at interviews with each of them discussing their craft, taken from the site Fiction Advocate’s interview series Non-Fiction by Non-Men. The reading list will include but is not limited to: Margo Jefferson, Michelle Kuo, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Edwidge Danticat, Suki Kim, Nina MacLaughlin, Samantha Irby, Eula Biss, Daisy Hernández, and Scaachi Koul. In addition to reading and studying works by these writers, for each class you will be expected to respond to writing prompts inspired by the works we have read. You will leave this course with the beginnings of several new pieces of your own nonfiction writing, a broadened knowledge of the range of individuals writing contemporary nonfiction, and an understanding of useful techniques and strategies for conducting interviews. Plus, you will have the chance to be a guest interviewer in the Non-Fiction by Non-Men series and publish an interview of your own on Fiction Advocate.

—-

Intro to Creative Nonfiction: Online
ONLINE, June 12 – July 17

  • My first ONLINE course with GrubStreet!
  • 6-week course.
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!
  • Did I mention it is ONLINE so you can take it from ANYWHERE?!

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. Intro to Creative Nonfiction Online will introduce you to this inventive form, with the flexibility of scheduling your own weekly attendance.

In this six-week 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, criticism, lyric essays, narrative journalism, flash nonfiction, autobiographical comics, nonfiction poetry, and hybrid genre work—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, but are not limited to: Hilton Als, Eula Biss, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Doyle, Roxane Gay, Leslie Jamison, Margo Jefferson, Maxine Hong Kingston, Maggie Nelson, and Mary Roach.

During the six weeks of class, students will respond to six short prompts inspired by our reading each week. This class is classified as a survey, which means the focus is on introducing students to new topics and forms of writing. Though student work will be discussed, the emphasis is not on formal, instructor-driven critique, but on learning, class discussion, and writing exercises. While there are no live meetings to attend, students will be expected to complete weekly readings and exercises by a specified day each week and to contribute to online class discussions. At the end of the class, students will have the opportunity to submit one revised piece to the instructor for feedback, and recommendations on next steps. Please expect to devote 4-6 hours/week to this class, in which 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.

*Note that while our handy dandy “Schedule” tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Assignments and deadlines will be given by your instructor. Students will have access to the online class portal starting at 5pm on the first day of class. Instructions for logging onto the online portal will be emailed to registered students before 5pm the first day of class.

—-

Week of Drama: Playwriting and Screenwriting
Monday, July 30 – Friday, August 3, 10:30am-3:30pm

  • 5-day teen writing camp.
  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • Scholarships available!

Do you know all the words to every song in Hamilton? Are you constantly watching old movies on Netflix? Do you live for the spotlight? Are the Academy Awards your personal Super Bowl? Then this week-long course on playwriting and screenwriting is for you! Designed for theatre geeks, musical nerds, film buffs, and series bingers we will study what makes for great dialogue, character development, pacing, and plot structure when it comes to plays and movies. During this course, you will have the chance to try your hand at writing your own original play or screenplay and also learning the art of adapting a work for the stage or screen as we study famous screenwriters and playwrights from Jordan Peele to Wes Anderson to Mindy Kaling to Nora Ephron to Suzan-Lori Parks to Martin McDonagh to, of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

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August Week of Creative Writing for Teens: Section A
Monday, August 6 – Friday, August 10, 10:30am-3:30pm

  • 5-day teen writing camp.
  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • Scholarships available!

In this week-long general creative writing course, we won’t discriminate based on genre! Whether you’re working on your first novel or writing memoir, short stories, poetry, plays, or fan fiction, this is an opportunity to improve your skills and learn about new forms. Each day will be filled with exercises designed to get you creating, and to expose you to new genres you may not have previously explored. What is flash fiction anyway? Does nonfiction have to be 500-page biographies of dead presidents? Do my characters have to be likable? How can I make my reader feel the way I am feeling? Do I have to stay confined to one genre? We’ll explore these questions and more! This class is geared toward creative, energetic, and open-minded writers all of levels who aren’t afraid to try something new. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

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Let me know if you have any questions!

AllisonandAJontheAT

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

E.B. Bartels

Nonfiction mafia.

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