How do writers of fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid prose present vibrant history on the page? How does a writer capture the telling characteristics of a place and time, making the details of characters’ lives resonate with contemporary readers? What’s true of “then” that creates a narrative conflict—and connection—with “now?”
Through generative writing exercises, discussion, and analysis of excerpted work by authors including John Sayles, Sarah Broom, and others, plus your own work—we'll examine the author's craft of bringing history to life. Each student will workshop their writing during the second class session, receiving verbal feedback from their peers and the instructor.
This course is suitable for writers of historical fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction, and is open to writers with all levels of experience.
Jessica Handler is the author of The Magnetic Girl, winner of the 2020 Southern Book Prize, an Indie Next selection, Wall Street Journal Spring '19 pick, Bitter Southerner Summer '19 pick and SIBA Okra pick. She is the author of the nonfiction books Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, which was named one of the “Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta Magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” Jessica's essays and nonfiction features have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, The Bitter Southerner, Electric Literature, Oldster, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, novelist Mickey Dubrow.