Sun Yung Shin Memoir-CNF Writing Project Specifics

Creative Nonfiction/Memoir Writing Project

Online cohort led by Sun Yung Shin

Mondays on Zoom | Starting Jan. 31, 2024 | 6-9 p.m.

Mondays on Zoom | Starting Jan. 29, 2024 | 6-9 PM

Sun Yung Shin will meet with each person who signs up to determine if your project is a good fit for the year-long project. We will reach out to the list to schedule a meeting between you and Sun Yung. Please sign up at the link below. Payment and final registration will take place after this initial call. Payment info and options are listed here.

2024 Creative Nonfiction and Memoir Writing Project with Sun Yung Shin

Your life is a treasure, both utterly unique, never to be repeated again, and also undeniably part of the larger collective. This collective includes contemporary humanity, all our ancestors, as well as all existence in the cosmos. It also includes the unknowable future. Your creative nonfiction or memoir project can be a compelling container for the raw material of your life. Through writing it, you can learn what is most important for you to distill and share with a wider audience. 

In this year-long course, you will find, refine, deepen your voice as you develop your craft skills in order to tell your stories and reflections in the most effective way you can. 

How do we create energy, urgency, and emotions for the reader? How do we create forms that support the reader as they journey along with us through all kinds of experiences, ideas, and insights? We will dig in immediately and study from a wide variety of writers who have made artistic, ethical, and professional decisions in order to make the books they dreamt of, and which the world needed and needs. Through reading, writing, discussion, workshopping, and revision, you will focus on craft: credibility, tone, diction, imagery, description, scene, pacing, setting, time, summary, dialogue, inner monologue, flashback, revision, editing, and publishing. 

We will visit with authors, agents, and publishing professionals to get our most pressing questions answered and to learn from their insights about the contemporary publishing market and writers’ considerations. By the time our year together is ended, you will have what you need to query agents, pitch to editors, and support your dream of sharing your work with readers. 


Note on readings: 
  • All assigned readings will be posted on Google Classroom or will be from the assigned books. 

  • Regarding the assigned memoirs, please obtain the paper copies of the books so we are all working from the same page number system when we discuss and refer to passages in the book. E-books and audiobooks are great when available, but if you use those, for this program, please also get the paper book. 

  • Also, libraries are of course essential, but I strongly recommend obtaining your own copies of the books so you can annotate/write in them/take notes in them.  
Important Dates
Weekly Cohort Meetings

Zoom link sent in confirmation email

All times listed in US Central Time

Year-Long Writing Project Orientation

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

6–7:30 p.m.

Online, via Zoom

Final Public Reading

Tuesday, January 7, 2025

7 - 9 PM

Online, via Zoom

Books and Visiting Guests

Participants will be assigned four recent memoirs or longform creative nonfiction works to read and learn from throughout the year:

  • The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh

  • Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo 

  • Heavy by Kiese Laymon

  • Fasting for Ramadan by Kazim Ali 

Visiting Guests

Throughout the year, 4–6 visiting writers and publishing professionals will meet with your cohort as special guests. Past guests have included:

  • Erika Stevens (agent) 

  • Kao Kalia Yang (memoirist)

  • David Mura (memoirist)

  • Michael Kleber-Diggs (memoirist)

CNF/Memoir Project Instructor

The 2024/2025 CNF/Memoir online cohort will be led by Sun Yung Shin