FALL IS HERE!—difficult memoirs, women with deep voices, Evenings With Our Authors events with Wendy C. Ortiz and Elizabeth Scarboro, free books for early registrations, bookbinding workshops, individual coaching, & more

IMG_1058Greetings, dear writers—

Wow, do I have a lot to share with all of you. I’ve spent the summer teaching and writing my heart out, and I’m pleased to say that the fall sessions of my prose and poetry workshops in Sacramento and Davis are now officially open for registration–as are two of the three incredible author events I have lined up for the year ahead. Please note all the special details and changes pertaining to each of these upcoming sessions below.

The upcoming fall session of my longlived ongoing CREATIVE NONFICTION workshop (which will meet in a slightly earlier timeslot than usual) will continue building on this summer’s focus on the standalone personal essay with a session on ‘the difficult memoir.’ I couldn’t be more excited to focus on how to scale difficult content for the crucible of the full-length book—I have been wanting to lead a session like this one for years, and IT IS TIME. If you are trying to figure out how to write as an I from the gutwrenching place without reducing your work to sensationalism, or if you simply want to swim around in writing that proves that the imagination of narrative can transform any story, you really, really should be with us this fall. Like all that have preceded it in this workshop’s now eleven-year history, this session will provide you with regular deadlines and inspirations for your new writing and lots of feedback to support its development moving forward, clear through the fall.

I’m incredibly excited to announce that in conjunction with this special session, we’ll enjoy not one but TWO Evenings With Our Authors events with two of the authors whose difficult memoirs we’ll be reading—Wendy C. Ortiz, whose spectacular first book Excavation just came out from Future Tense Books this summer, and Elizabeth Scarboro, whose My Foreign Cities was an Oprah Book of the Week, one of Library Journal’s Best Memoirs of 2013, and the winner of the 2014 Chautauqua Prize. Wendy will be joining us on November 5th, Elizabeth on December 3rd. To streamline planning, I’m building registration for both of these events into the course fee for the fall session of CNF: if you’re in CNF this fall, you’re automatically registered for both events; if you’re not going to be in CNF this fall you can (and should!—you are not going to want to miss these events, and your presence is wholeheartedly welcome!) register separately.

CNF meets Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, September 10—December 17, at a lovely private home in Sacramento. Carpooling from Davis may be available.

The MASTER WORKSHOP FOR POETS returns this fall with a session I’m calling ‘women with deep voices’—a session in which we’ll read multiple individual volumes of poetry and prose by three contemporary women poets that will take us straight into the cores of our bodies and voices, and keep us there for long enough to stir some tremendous places for our pages. This workshop is deeply generative, communal, and connective—we write brand-new poems together every single week and share drafts with great frequency, which means that you can expect a significant acceleration of your creative growth, and in all likelihood some real transformation of your creative process–as well as a great opportunity to bend your own zones of resistance in ways that might transform more than your poetry. This group is capped, intimate, and as cozy as it comes.

I’m thrilled to announce that one of the poets whose work we’ll be drawing close this session, the incomparable Joanna Klink, will become the first poet to come to the area for Evenings With Our Authors this winter! Joanna will join us in late January or early February—I’ll announce the details as soon as they’re finalized—and we’ll be lucky to be able to talk with her not just about her three collections, but also her newest, Excerpts From a Secret Prophecy, which is forthcoming from Penguin in 2015. I’m also happy to note that this fall, for the first time, I’ll be building in a daylong fall retreat for this workshop—registered poets will be taking off together one Saturday or Sunday this fall (we will determine the date together at the start of the session) for a carpooled adventure somewhere special where we will walk, talk gaze, take photos, picnic, and write and read together.

MWP meets Tuesdays, 6-8 PM, September 19—December 16, in Davis. Carpooling from Sacramento may be available.

Interested in jumping in? GREAT. Drop me an email at rgouirand@gmail.com to request the registration form (please specify for which workshop, or whether you’d like to register for Evenings With Our Authors, which is open to everybody who’s ever been in one of my workshops), which covers all the rest of the details. PLEASE NOTE: the registration period leading into the fall sessions is considerably shorter than usual. Registrations are due in two weeks, on Friday, August 29th. Early registration is *strongly* recommended; my fall workshops generally fill. To apologize for how long it’s taken me to get this announcement out, the first person to register for each workshop will each receive one of their books for the fall session on me.

Finally: soon I’ll be posting information on the daylong bookbinding workshops I’ll be offering this fall in greater Davis/Sacramento and Chico, as well as information about the spots I’ll be opening up in my schedule this year for individual manuscript coaching. Both of these offerings have been in my longer-term plan for anywhile, but recent months have sent me an uptick in the number of requests I’ve been getting for each of them—so if you are one of those many, this is your lucky fall. Keep your eyes on this space.

I hope your summers have been the brightest, and really hope to see you in the golden season. Til soon!

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