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Private Instruction in Creative Nonfiction

For students interested in writing memoirs, travel narratives, or lyric essays, our experienced instructors can help them navigate the wide-ranging possibilities of creative nonfiction. From its earliest pioneers (St. Augustine, Montaigne) to contemporary practitioners like Annie Dillard and Jon Krakauer, the genre is flexible and exciting. A student may wish to write about a significant journey, encounter, or childhood event; or to explore the collision of personal experience with political history; or to document, in innovative ways, the natural world.

The goals of our creative nonfiction program are threefold:

  1. Build the student’s core writing skills.
  2. Acquaint the student with a variety of styles, forms, and techniques in creative nonfiction.
  3. Draft and revise nonfiction pieces that can be submitted for publication or as part of a college application portfolio.

A typical program in creative nonfiction involves one 60-90 minute session per week, with writing and reading assignments for the student to complete independently and discuss at the following session. In addition to short exercises targeting different elements of craft, the student will draft (and extensively revise) 2-3 personal essays, memoir pieces, and/or travel narratives.

If advanced students seek to publish their work, our tutors can guide them to appropriate venues (print and online journals, school magazines, local newspapers) and help them compose submission cover letters.

Our Creative Nonfiction Instructors:
Our team of creative nonfiction instructors includes the tutors below. Click on the instructor’s short profile to access his or her full profile:

Ursula D., Ph.D.
Ursula D., Ph.D.
Education

Oxford University, PhD in Modern History
Harvard University, BA in History and Literature (Honors)
Phillips Academy, Andover


Summary of Experience

Ursula is a writer and historian who is currently a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Science Department at Harvard University. Her first book, on nineteenth-century physicist John Tyndall, was released in March 2011. She has also taught an undergraduate history course at Oxford and worked as a teacher and tutor at the Marymount School of New York for two years.

Marisa H., M.F.A.
Marisa H., M.F.A.
Education

University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, MFA in Fiction Writing
Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing to India
University of California, Berkeley, BA in English and Interdisciplinary Studies Field, Phi Beta Kappa


Summary of Experience

As a teacher, tutor, and workshop leader, Marisa's students have ranged from struggling writers to M.F.A. candidates. She has taught at universities including Stanford and U.C. Berkeley in composition, nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. Her memoir Loyal to the Sky (2007) won the Nautilus Gold Award for World-Changing Books. In 2010, she received a Fulbright fellowship in Creative Writing.

Hannah G., M.F.A.
Hannah G., M.F.A.
Education

University of Houston, M.F.A in Creative Writing/Poetry
University of Aix-Marseilles III
University of Tennessee, B.A in French and Humanities (International Studies)


Summary of Experience

Hannah currently teaches English at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to traditional and non-traditional students. Her courses comprise literature, composition, and creative writing. Hannah is the poetry editor for CATCH UP, a nationally distributed journal of literature and graphic art. Her first collection of poetry, Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, will be published this fall.

Katie B., M.F.A.
Katie B., M.F.A.
Education

Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults
Tufts University, MA in Teaching
Brown University, BA in Education Studies, magna cum laude
Phillips Academy, Andover


Summary of Experience

Katie has extensive experience as both a writer and educator. She taught high school English for several years and was a founding faculty member of a charter school. As Features Editor of the internationally distributed Teen Voices magazine, she worked with teen writers and their mentors. An award-winning novelist, Katie is also a communications expert in the nonprofit and educational sectors.


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