Webinar

Embrace the Unknown: Speculation and Invention in Creative Nonfiction

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern

Level All Levels

Every true story contains gaps. By imagining our way into these gaps, we can transform our material and our writing experience.

 

 

Additional Information

This presentation invites you to explore the power of what might have been. You’ll learn more than a dozen reasons for speculating and inventing in creative nonfiction and discover how these techniques can lead you to deeper truths. You’ll take inspiration from authors such as James Baldwin, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Joshua Wheeler. You’ll consider why their suppositions compel readers and examine where and how these writers pivot between the known and unknown. You’ll consider several ways of signaling imagined content while integrating it seamlessly.

This webinar will help you plumb the unrealized possibilities of your essay or memoir. You’ll be guided to root out gaps in your narrative. And you’ll leave with prompts for generating new, surprising material for your work-in-progress—or for starting something new from the stance of “what if?” In this webinar about questioning what we think we know, there will be plenty of time for questions about what we’ve learned and tried.

By the end of the session, you will:

  • LEARN more than a dozen ways speculation or invention can enhance your creative nonfiction.
  • TAKE INSPIRATION AND COURAGE from audacious examples of speculation in other writers’ works.
  • IDENTIFY gaps in your work-in-progress that you could imagine your way through to reach new revelations.
  • EXPERIMENT with at least one technique for generating speculative content in your work.

This webinar is ideal for creative nonfiction writers interested in new techniques for adding depth to their work.

Readings that will be discussed (excerpts will be provided during the presentation) are:

  • “Notes of a Native Son,” essay by James Baldwin, from his essay collection, Notes of a Native Son
  • “No Name Woman,” Chapter 1 of Maxine Hong Kingston’s memoir, The Woman Warrior
  • “The Troubling of Hummingbirds: (A Letter to Billy the Kid),” essay by Joshua Wheeler published in The Southern Review

All registrants receive a recording.

Closed captioning will be available.

Course Presenter

Course Registration

$25.00

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Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

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Testimonials

I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill

Webinar FAQs

  • How do I prepare for the webinar?

    We usually open the webinar 3-5 minutes prior to start time (see webinar invite) so you can check your audio settings and make sure everything is working properly on your end. The host will welcome everyone and ask you to introduce yourself and share where you’re joining from in the text-based chat. Participation in the chat is optional.

    The actual webinar program usually gets rolling five minutes after the start time. This is also when the recording starts if you watch the video afterward.

    No one can hear you or see you during the webinar. The only people who are visible and can be heard during the webinar are the instructor and host.

    Audio Settings:
    If you’re unable to hear any sound during the webinar, please look at the bottom left of your Zoom window for Audio Settings, and click the small arrow to check your settings.

    Getting familiar with the Zoom software

    There are several ways to interact with the presenter and other students during the webinar:

    *Live chat

    *Formal Q & A window

    Live Chat:
    The live chat is where you can exchange messages in real time with other students attending the webinar, as well as the instructor and host. Usually your chat visibility defaults to just the presenter/panelists. If you want everyone attending to see your chat message (and most people do), then you need to select “everyone” or “all panelists and attendees” in the chat window.

    How to banish the chat:
    We encourage you to make use of the live chat throughout the webinar because it’s one of the great benefits of joining the live event. However, some find the chat distracting and would like to turn it off. As of today, Zoom doesn’t allow students to disable the chat, but there is a way to effectively “banish” it if you do not want to see it:

    1. Click the Chat icon at the bottom of the Zoom window
    2. When the Chat appears on the side of your window, click the small arrow icon and select Pop Out, which separates the Chat into its own free-floating window
    3. Then, using your cursor, drag the Chat off the side or bottom of your screen

    Formal Q & A:

    All webinars include time for Q & A with the presenter. This will be included in the recording.

  • How can I download the webinar recording?

    In most cases, unless you see the download arrow under the recording window, you will not be able to download the recording. You will have ongoing access to the recording link to view at your leisure. You can download any supplemental materials provided by following the links in the webinar recording description. The recording will be sent to you three days after the live event.

  • I did not receive the recording for a webinar. Can you re-send it?

    Yes, we’re sorry this happened. These messages are sent from “[email protected]” and sometimes go missing. Please email us and we’ll respond with a link to the recording.

  • When will the recording be available?

    We ask for 3 days to send you the recording. If you do not receive it within that time frame, please contact us and we’ll assist you.

  • Can I still register for [x] webinar?

    If the webinar is not marked “sold out,” you can still join.