Memoir Writing Project Specifics

2022 Creative Nonfiction and Memoir Writing Project

 

Cohort Meetings

 

Participants will meet weekly as a cohort during the winter/spring term (12 weeks; February–April), biweekly with additional Saturday meetings during the summer months (June–August); and weekly again during the fall term (12 weeks; September–December).

The plan is that the in-person cohort will meet at Open Book, in a Loft classroom, beginning in February 2022; if issues arise beyond the Loft’s control that makes this impossible (as they did in 2020 and 2021 with the global pandemic), meetings will take place online via Zoom.

The online cohort will meet via live weekly video meetings over Zoom.

Each student will also meet one-on-one with Nicole Helget four times over the course of the year. These meetings include one introductory meeting before the program kicks off in February and one manuscript consultation session with Nicole after the program concludes (and you submit your final manuscript) in December; this meeting must take place before February 28, 2023. 

 

In-person Cohort Meeting Dates

 

Held at the Loft at Open Book | all times listed in US Central Time

 

Year-Long Writing Project Orientation

Thursday, January 27, 2022 | 6–7:30 p.m. 

In the Performance Hall at Open Book

 

Winter/Spring Term Meetings

Tuesdays | 6–9 p.m.

February 1 – April 19, 2022

 

Summer Term Meetings

Tuesday, June 7 | Tuesday, June 21 | Saturday, June 25

Tuesday, July 12 | Tuesday, July 26 | Saturday, July 30

Tuesday, Aug. 9 | Saturday, Aug 20

All summer Tuesday sessions meet 6–9 p.m.

All summer Saturday sessions meet 10 a.m.–noon


 

Fall Term Meetings

Tuesdays | 6–9 p.m.

September 20–December 13

No class November 22

 

Final Public Reading

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 | 7 p.m.

In the Performance Hall at Open Book

 
Online Cohort Meeting Dates

 

Via Zoom | all times listed in US Central Time

 

Year-Long Writing Project Orientation

Tuesday, January 25, 2022 | 6–7:30 p.m.

Online, via Zoom

 

Winter/Spring Term Meetings

Thursdays | 6–9 p.m.

February 3–April 21, 2022


 

Summer Term Meetings

Thursday, June 9 | Thursday, June 23 | Saturday, June 25

Thursday, July 14 | Thursday, July 28 | Saturday, July 30

Thursday, Aug. 11 | Saturday, Aug 20

All summer Thursday sessions meet 6–9 p.m.

All summer Saturday sessions meet 2–4 p.m.

 

Fall Term Meetings

Thursdays | 6–9 p.m.

September 22–December 15, 2022

No class November 24

 

Final Public Reading

Thursday, January 19, 2023 | 7 p.m.

Online, via Zoom

 

CNF/Memoir Writing Project Books

 

Participants will be assigned four recent memoirs or longform creative nonfiction works to read and learn from throughout the year. Examples of past cohort book assignments include:

  • Neither Wolf Nor Dog​ by Kent Nerburn
  • Tailings​ by Kaethe Schwehn
  • The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen​ by Sean Sherman
  • The Bride Price​ by Mai Neng Moua
  • The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twenty-Something Spent a Year in Iraq by Bronson Lemer
  • We'll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down by Rachael Hanel
     

 

CNF/Memoir Writing Project Visiting Guests

 

Throughout the year, four to six visiting writers and publishing professionals will meet with your cohort as special guests. Examples of past guests include:

  • Laila Lalami
  • Rumaan Alam
  • Mira Jacob
  • Courtney Maum
  • Kent Nerburn
  • Kaethe Schwehn
  • Sean Sherman
  • Mai Neng Moua
  • Ann Regan
  • Bronson Lemer
  • Erik Anderson
  • Rachel Hanel
  • Faye Bender
  • Michael Perry
  • Ariel Gore
  • Richard Blanco
  • In addition to many other visiting writers and publishing professionals from local and national publishing houses, publications, and literary agencies.

 

Nicole Helget is the author of a memoir, The Summer of Ordinary Ways (Borealis Books); two novels, The Turtle Catcher and Stillwater (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); and three middle-grade novels, Horse Camp, co-authored with Nate LeBoutiller (Egmont), Wonder at the Edge of the World, and the forthcoming Fern’s Grove (Little, Brown and Company).

Helget was selected as a Barnes and Nobles “Discover Great New Writers” and “Featured Authors” and has starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly. Her work has earned the Tamarack Award and Speakeasy Prize, as well as Midwest Selections Pick, several Minnesota Book Award nominations, and two Minnesota State Arts Board grants.

Featured reviews have appeared in People magazine and “Weekend Edition” on National Public Radio. She works and lives in St. Peter, Minnesota, with her family.