COVID-19 is a global pandemic, but every person has a unique story to share about summoning up resilience. Some writers who are keeping journals, diaries, or field notes during the pandemic haven’t yet figured out how to transform these writings into publishable works for an audience. For a multitude of different reasons, other writers are finding it hard to write anything at all.
Writing Your Pandemic Story Through Micro-Memoir is a five-week class (July 20-August 24, 2020) designed to help you chronicle, through small and accessible acts of memoir, your personal experience of current events.
I am also offering a brand new class, Micro-Memoir 2.0, for people who’ve already completed the first class or who already have a background in creative writing. This class will cover new topics, introduce you to new readings, and consist of the same five-week structure (July 20-August 24, 2020).
In these classes, you will read published examples of micro-memoir and then practice creative nonfiction writing techniques in your own work.
You will each write at least four creative nonfiction pieces and receive feedback from classmates and the instructor on these writings.
At the end of the class, you will be invited to participate in an optional online reading where you can share some of what you’ve written with the public.
What does the class cost?
Fee: $50 to $250, sliding scale. This translates to $10/week to $40/week. Pay what you can afford. I will contact you about arranging payment (typically through PayPal) after you fill out the sign-up form.
*I am offering at least two scholarship spots in each workshop because I do not want the fee to be a barrier for entry. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship, please indicate this on the sign-up form. If you’d like to support additional scholarship spots with a donation, please indicate that on the form as well.
Which class is right for me?
Writing Your Pandemic Story Through Micro-Memoir is designed for new creative writers coming to memoir for the first time and who are looking for motivation, literary community, feedback, and new writing prompts.
Micro-Memoir 2.0 is designed for creative writers who have taken creative writing classes before and/or who have experience writing creative nonfiction, either in Writing Your Pandemic Story or another context.
Both classes will be completely conducted through email, so you do not need to download any special program or learn a new technology. The optional virtual reading at the end of the class will be hosted on Zoom.
- Read one micro-memoir per week (some are less than a page, some are a bit longer). All readings will be available for free online. Estimated time commitment: ~30 minutes/week.
- Write one micro-memoir per week. Estimated time commitment: 1 hour/week.
- Give feedback on two micro-memoirs written by your classmates per week. Estimated time commitment: 60-90 minutes/week.
Time commitment per week: approximately 2.5-3 hours.
What the classes will offer:
- Five weeks of readings, writing prompts, and a remote writing community (July 20-August 24, 2020).
- Friendly and constructive feedback from the instructor and two classmates on your writing every week.
- Optional craft essays and extra readings to bolster your study of the genre.
- The option to participate in a virtual, open-to-the-public literary reading the final week of our class so that you can share your work with your friends.
- A list of micro-memoir publication opportunities and suggestions of further reading material.
What is micro-memoir?
Flash nonfiction, flash memoir, micro-essay, micro-memoir: no matter what you call this kind of writing, it’s a useful doorway into writing under difficult circumstances because it’s brief and autobiographical. Multi-genre writer Beth Ann Fennelly provides a definition for what she calls micro-memoir: it is “written in sentences, drawn from personal experience, and strives to create a world in as few words as possible.”
Who is teaching these classes?
Freesia McKee is a writer, writing teacher, writing coach, and editor. She currently teaches writing classes at Florida International University and Johnson & Wales University. She’s also taught online through the Loft Literary Center and created community poetry workshops for the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Reading Queer, and the Aqua Foundation for Women’s TransCon.
Freesia McKee is author of the chapbook How Distant the City. Her words have appeared in Flyway, Bone Bouquet, So to Speak, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Virga, Painted Bride Quarterly, CALYX, About Place Journal, South Dakota Review, New Mexico Review, and the Ms. Magazine Blog. Freesia is a staff book reviewer for South Florida Poetry Journal.