Master Class in Creative Nonfiction Writing


Review and reimagine your creative nonfiction book manuscript in this three-quarter course for students revising their work toward finding and agent and submitting to publishers.

Starting at $3,860.00
As few as 36 weeks

What you can learn.

  • Review the elements of craft that make for powerful creative nonfiction
  • Discover how to weave universal themes into your next draft
  • Listen to guest speakers guide you through writing, revising, and publishing
  • Get feedback on your manuscript and query from an established agent in the field

About this course:

Designed for writers serious about revising their draft memoirs and personal essay collections into polished works for publication, this 30-week course allows for in-depth critiques from a community of nonfiction writers, personalized guidance, and ongoing, one-on-one mentoring from a professional writer. In a challenging but supportive workshop environment, you will study the advanced elements of craft such as capturing memorable moments, developing a narrative structure, braiding your story with larger universal themes, and the art of revision. Guest speakers share their insights on writing, publishing, and the nonfiction market as you shape your next draft and prepare a professional book proposal. Master Class students' excerpts are submitted to an established agent for review and consideration at the completion of the course. 

This course is taught using a combination of asynchronous and synchronous instruction. For most of the course, students will engage with learning materials posted on Canvas, our online learning system, and interact with the instructor and other students using messaging tools. In addition, students will attend a weekend-long remote (live online) residency on Zoom in which attendance is required. For the schedule, click ‘See Details’ below.

Admission to this course is by application only and the selection process is competitive. It is recommended that students take intermediate-level courses prior to submitting their work. When this course is open for enrollment, click "See Details" for application guidelines and quarterly application deadlines.

Fall 2021 Schedule

Date & Time
Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9:00AM - 1:00PM PT
See Details
Instructor: Shawna Kenney
Hybridformat icon
Location: Online
ENROLL BY: Sep 29, 2021
See Details

This class includes occasional live Zoom meetings as well as a four day, virtual residency, held live on Zoom from March 10 & 13, 2022, 9am-1pm PT.

Participants may withdraw their application any time before acceptance. A submission of a complete memoir manuscript or collection of essays is required.

Deadline for application is Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 9am PT. Restricted course; approval needed to enroll. Not eligible for any discounts. Enrollment limited to eight students.

Visitors not permitted. No refund after enrolling. Internet access required. 

Submission Guidelines for Master Class in Creative Nonfiction Writing

Please submit the following materials (Word Document or PDF only). The first document must contain: a one-page personal statement that includes your writing background, previous creative writing courses taken; a two-page synopsis of your work-in-progress; and an excerpt of one complete scene you feel is one of the best and accurately reflects your work-in-progress (no longer than 12 pages). In a separate document, you must also submit the full, completed  first draft of your creative nonfiction manuscript (either a memoir or personal essay collection). 

Note: participants in this master class work only on the project submitted for admission. No exceptions. Each page should be numbered, typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, and double spaced with 1-inch margins.

Refund Deadline
No refunds after August 30, 2021
Course Requirements
Book: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut & David Sterry
Book: How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen
(Optional) Book: Bird of Paradise: How I Became a Latina by Raquel Cepeda
Thu Mar 10, 2022
9:00AM PT - 1:00PM PT
Fri Mar 11, 2022
9:00AM PT - 1:00PM PT
Sat Mar 12, 2022
9:00AM PT - 1:00PM PT
Sun Mar 13, 2022
9:00AM PT - 1:00PM PT

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
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