This course focuses on the theme of “repair” as subject matter and metaphor. Over the course of five weeks, we will read and write work that grapples with questions of fixing, healing, mending, rebuilding, restoration, and reconciliation.
Some of the best memoirs ask questions that do not have clear answers. We will consider what has been broken, what has been repaired, what needs to be repaired, and what to do when repair proves impossible.
Writers in this class will also be asked to examine sentences, words, and letters themselves as breakable, repairable, and malleable objects. Playing with various written forms on the page will create space for us to ask crucial questions and share stories from our lives.
***Please Note: This class is asynchronous, which means that there are no live video meetings. The course is fully online, remote, and conducted through email. We do not meet together on Zoom; you work at your own pace within weekly deadlines. If you are looking for a class that takes place on Zoom, contact me to get on my mailing list for future real-time options.***
Five weeks, March 25th to April 29th, 2021.
Cost of Full Class
$50-$250, sliding scale. Pay what you can afford. I am also happy to offer two scholarship spots in this class; indicate your interest on the sign-up sheet. Participants will receive weekly class readings and prompts, receive personalized feedback on your writing from the instructor, and participate in a weekly feedback exchange with other writers in the class.
Too busy to give and receive feedback? I’m offering a new audit option.
Audit Option: You can sign up as an auditor for $50 and receive all of the material each week and work at your own pace independently. Feedback from classmates and instructor is not part of this option—you’ll be flying solo.
Audit + Feedback Option: For an additional $75 ($125 total), you can submit a portfolio of up to ten pages of your writing from the class for written feedback from the instructor when the class ends on April 29th, 2021. During the class itself, you’ll be emailed the material and work independently. There is no peer exchange of feedback in the Audit + Feedback option, just feedback from the instructor at the end of the class. (The portfolio must be submitted to the instructor by May 6th at the latest; you’ll receive feedback on your portfolio within two weeks.)
What will we write about?
Writers in this class may choose to write stories that deal with mending broken relationships, whether “normalcy” can be repaired post-pandemic (or if there are parts of “normal” that shouldn’t be restored), home improvement, furniture or instrument restoration, repairers in nature such as spiders and prairie fires, rescued houseplants, rescue animals, social-justice-as-repair, reparations, apologies, spiritual and religious considerations of repair such as Judaism’s tikkun olam or Catholicism’s confession, the aftermath of natural disaster and war, personal and cultural survival its many forms, surgery convalescence and cancer remission, the reparative aspects of the grieving process, sewing, carpentry, going to the dentist, climate change, repair in the context of worldbuilding in video games, and more. I believe firmly that every person has many stories to offer on this topic.
- Each Thursday morning, you will receive a short reading in your inbox and a prompt for your writing assignment.
- You will have five days to turn in your writing (600-1,200 words) by each Tuesday at midnight.
- Each Wednesday morning, you will be placed in a group with two other writers. You will read their micro-memoirs and give them casual feedback. In turn, you will receive feedback from your group and the instructor. (The weekly deadline for feedback is each Thursday night with a grace period until the weekend.)
Schedule and Tentative Curriculum:
- Week 1 beginning March 25th, 2021: Mending Timelines and Stories
- Week 2 beginning April 1st, 2021: Breaking and Fixing: Found Text, Annotation, and Erasure
- Week 3 beginning April 8th, 2021: Interruption, Patchwork, and Literary Collage
- Week 4 beginning April 15th, 2021: “The best laid plans…”: Changing Direction
- Week 5 beginning April 22nd, 2021: Writing Into the Stream
- Optional: If there is sufficient interest, writers will have the option to participate in a reading/performance on Zoom upon completion of our course.
Who is teaching this class?
Freesia McKee is a writer, teacher, coach, and editor. She’s taught writing classes at Florida International University, Johnson & Wales University, the Loft Literary Center, and independently. Since May of 2020, more than 60 students have participated in Freesia’s online micro-memoir classes. Freesia is author of the poetry chapbook How Distant the City. Her writing has recently appeared in the Grabbed Anthology, Cleaver Magazine, Pandemic Meditations, k’in, Zone 3, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and elsewhere. Freesia is a book reviewer and the essays editor for South Florida Poetry Journal.