The Art of Autobiography

Regular $280.00
Member $252.00
June 21, 2021-August 16, 2021
1 p.m.-3 p.m.
13 to 17
Online—Live Meeting
Number of Sessions
Day of the Week
8 Week
Summer Youth Rectangle Graphic

Too often, young authors erase themselves from the narratives they write in an attempt to fit their writing into what they think a story should be. In this class we will explore writing from life, how to center our personal experiences in our writing, and what it means to blur the distinctions between fiction, nonfiction, and autobiography. Together we will tackle the difficulty of reclaiming our own narratives.

Guided by the essays in Alexander Chee's book How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, we'll cover writing craft such as plot, structure, and form, write our own fiction and nonfiction pieces, and workshop our writing with our peers. Classes will be evenly split between reading and discussing other authors' work and writing your own stories.

For the first day, you should come to class with a short artist's statement (max 750 words) that speaks to your interests as a writer. We'll be sharing these with each other and using them as a foundation for the reading and writing we'll be doing. We will be writing both nonfiction and fiction in this class. Every other class session we will be turning in a story (500-1500 words) and providing feedback for each other's pieces. Class readings will be provided by the teaching artist.

This class is an eight session class. Students will meet on Mondays, from June 21st - August 16th. There is no class meeting on July 26th.

Instructions for Accessing This Online Class

In order to access the live meeting portions of this class, 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. You will receive instruction on how to join your Zoom classroom approximately one week before your class is set to begin and then again on the start date of your class. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.

Some classes will have supplemental Google Classroom pages. In order to access the Google Classroom page for this class, you will need a Gmail account. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can create a free account here. You will be invited to join your class' Google Classroom page at least 24 hours before the start of the class. If we do not have a Gmail address on file for you, you will be contacted by a Loft staff member. Should you have concerns about this, please contact a Loft staff member at or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.