Forest in the Trees: Shaping a Book of Essays or Memoir-in-Essays
A Workshop led by Rebecca McClanahan
A well-shaped book of essays (or a memoir-in-essays) forms a whole greater than the sum of its separate parts. In other words, the writer—and later the reader—needs to see the forest, not just the separate trees. In this workshop, we’ll explore basic shaping principles and combine our discussion with brief in-class writing prompts. You are encouraged, though not required, to bring to the workshop a list of your essays or drafts that you imagine could be part of a book of essays or a memoir-in- essays.
Rebecca has generously donated some signed copies of her latest book that we will be raffling off to attendees at the end of the workshop.
Rebecca McClanahan’s eleventh book, In the Key of New York City: A Memoir in Essays, was published in 2020. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, Boulevard, The Sun, and in anthologies published by Simon & Schuster, Beacon, Norton, and Bedford/St. Martin, among others. Recipient of two Pushcart prizes, the Glasgow Award in Nonfiction, the Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine, and the N.C. Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, McClanahan teaches in the MFA programs of Rainier Writing Workshop and Queens University. She can be reached at RebeccaMcClanahanWriter.com.