Project Description

Creative nonfiction reports back to us from what we call the real world, its subject matter “documentable. . . as opposed to ‘invented’ from the writer’s mind,” as Barbara Lounsberry puts it. Its subgenres are many: the personal essay; the essay of place; nature writing; family portraits; memoir; and writing about war, travel, adventure, food, and the like. Creative nonfiction tells stories based in fact, often heavily researched, but always filtered through the lens of what Joan Didion calls “the implacable ‘I’,” and crafted with tools borrowed from fiction’s toolbox: narrative voice, character, plot, description, dialogue. What good creative nonfiction offers, writes David Foster Wallace, is “clarity, precision, plainness, lucidity, and the sort of magical compression that enriches instead of vitiates…. It serves as models and guides for how large or complex sets of facts can be sifted, culled, and arranged in meaningful ways—ways that yield and illuminate truth instead of just adding more noise to the overall roar.”
We will begin to explore the particular richness and variety of creative nonfiction in the short texts we will read, focusing on how various writers operate within their particular subgenres. We’ll use published texts as a springboard into our own creative nonfictions, keeping in mind how we might teach our students to do the same. Writers may include Susan Sontag, Teju Cole, Natalia Ginzburg, Richard Rodriguez, Luc Sante, Zadie Smith, Terry Tempest Williams, and Rebecca Solnit, among others.

Writing and Thinking Workshops
Sunday through Friday, July 9-14

Early-bird fee: $1,350
The early-bird payment deadline is June 1, 2017.

Regular fee (after June 1): $1,500

Early-bird Commuter fee*: $1,050
Regular Commuter fee* (after June 1): $1,200

Registration fees must be paid in full before or at workshop check-in on July 9.

Fees include tuition, materials, a single-occupancy room on the Bard campus, and meals beginning with Sunday dinner and ending with Saturday breakfast.

*Commuter fee includes tuition, materials, and week-day lunches only.

See List of Workshops Offered
Register for a Workshop

Cancellation Policy: For cancellations up to a week before the workshop, IWT will refund the full workshop fee, minus the $60 non-refundable deposit required at registration.

No refunds can be given for cancellations made later than a week before the event.