ClassThe Art of Activist Writing
Nonfiction writing often emerges from a sense of injustice: “This isn’t right, and I need to tell others.” But turning that frustration into writing that balances craft and argument effectively to persuade an audience is tricky. This class helps memoirists, essayists, and narrative nonfiction writers with a work in progress address the questions they need to answer before their writing gets to readers: How will this work live in the world? What conversations does it enter? What arguments does it make? Figuring out those answers early in the process gives structure to your writing and makes it easier to turn your angst into activism.
We’ll look at All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung and The Devil's Highway by Luís Alberto Urrea, plus selected essays by Roxane Gay, Dina Nayeri, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, among others. Nicole Chung will be a guest speaker in one class session to talk about how she anticipated that her memoir (a National Book Critics Circle Finalist and Best Book of the Year for over two dozen publications) would enter ongoing cultural conversations about adoption, what she learned after publication, and what advice she has as both a fellow writer and an editor.
The class is designed for people with a specific project in mind and will be flexible and pragmatic based on the group’s needs. We'll spend about half our time together engaging in discussion and in-class writing and the other half workshopping; through this practice, writers will gain the skills they need whether they are working on essays or a book proposal or already writing a book.
If you'd like to obtain the required books while supporting the Loft Literary Center, please consider visiting the Loft's Bookshop page here! Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores and related organizations.
Instructions for Accessing This Online Class
In order to access live class meetings, you must have the Zoom application downloaded to your computer. You will also need a WiFi/Internet connection throughout the duration of your scheduled meeting and a computer with audio and video capability. The information to join your Zoom classroom will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration. Please check spam folders if you do not see this email upon registration. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.
Some classes use a supplemental Google Classroom page. Should your teaching artist use Google Classroom, you will be invited to join the classroom via email at least 24 hours in advance of your class (check spam folders if you are not seeing this invitation). Please note that Google Classroom requires a Gmail address to access the Classroom. If you do not have a Gmail account, the email invitation will be sent to the email address we have on file and will prompt you to create a free account or enter an existing account to join the classroom. If we are unable to send an email invitation to your non-gmail account, you will be contacted by a staff member to provide a Gmail address. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can create a free account here. Should you have concerns about this, please contact a Loft staff member at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.