This holistic workshop will inspire students to mine their lives as artistic material, offering generative techniques, permission to own their stories, and a look at the work of great writers
This event is fully booked. To put your name on the waiting list, please email [email protected] – we’ll be in touch if a place becomes available.
This non-fiction workshop is part of Spread the Word’s Developing Tutors series and will especially focus on the craft of the personal essay, with emphasis on using life writing as a tool for self-expression and agency.
We will explore experimental, freeing ways to use experience as material, and to craft pieces (or books) from whatever elements we choose to write about: lists, correspondence, collage, found text, objects, notebooks.
We’ll discuss ethical questions and anxieties around non-fiction.
What will you do in the workshop?
The workshop will consist of presentation, brief readings, short exercises, and discussions. Participants need only bring curiosity and a willingness to engage.
Pre-class prompt: ponder the one thing you have been scared to write about. You know the one.
What can you expect?
Readings and exercises will serve as a springboard for writers to generate one essay idea.
Writers referenced may include Lydia Davis, Durga Chew-Bose, Ocean Vuong, Sarah Manguso, Alice Walker, Zadie Smith, Vivian Gornick.
A further reading list will be offered.
Who is this for?
This is a creative non-fiction prose workshop open to writers from all genres.
It is especially aimed at women and non-binary writers and writers from other marginalised communities.
This masterclass is auto-captioned.
If you require BSL interpretation to take part, please email us at [email protected] by 5 April and we will try to secure BSL interpretation for you. Spread the Word will cover this cost.
All our online events have a relaxed format; you are welcome to take breaks at any point and turn your camera off. All our online sessions have breaks.
We’ll send through any reading seven days in advance. We can create adapted handouts to writers attending our workshops and events by request.
Our online workshops and events take place on Zoom. As standard, we will send the weblinks to participants a week in advance. If you require the dial in phone number, email us [email protected] and we can send it through to you. Please take a look at Zoom’s accessibility info: https://zoom.us/accessibility/faq#faq1
If you have additional access needs, please contact us and we will support you to participate in this event.
Marta Bausells is a writer, artist and journalist based in London.
A current 2020-21 Emerging Writer at The London Library, her creative non-fiction work has also received support and fellowships from Headlands Center for the Arts, Arts Council England, the London Writers Awards and Tin House Summer Workshop, among others.
She is currently at work on her debut novel and on a creative non-fiction manuscript on memory, intergenerational trauma, art and healing around the Spanish Civil War.
Her essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Millions, ELLE magazine and the anthologies On Bodies (3 of Cups Press) and Mixed Feelings (Quadrille). Her journalism and criticism work has appeared online and in print in The Guardian, The Paris Review, Electric Literature, Literary Review and VICE.
Marta is also European Editor-at-Large at Literary Hub and a bookseller at Pages of Hackney and runs a retreat for women-identifying and non-binary writers in London.
Photo of Marta by Liz Seabrook