Kate Moses

Object Lessons: Uncovering the Story in Real Things

Kate Moses, photo by Erika Edgley
Kate Moses, photo by Erika Edgley
  • January 15-19, 2018
  • By application, $550
See all 2018 Workshops

workshop description

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

“No ideas but in things,” William Carlos Williams famously wrote, but we might also say that there can be no story without “things” – concrete, real-world details and images. In this prose workshop we will focus the magnifying lens of attentiveness on the raw material that life has entrusted to us – whether that means an iconic family heirloom, a watershed moment in history, an unforgettable work of art, or a life glimpsed through the amber of time – to discover the innate power of our “things” and the narratives they contain and invite. We will discuss examples of fiction and creative nonfiction revealed through indelible images, and use daily exercises to fan the flames of story from the kindling fires of our individually inspiring subjects.

This workshop is designed to be more generative and/or process-deepening in scope than revisionist, though writers with works in progress are welcome. Every participant will have the opportunity for a one-on-one conference to discuss their project outside of workshop hours.


Click here to apply via Submittable.

•    Please submit a brief letter outlining your desire to take the workshop, including a description of the “thing” you wish to explore (with photos or other documentation, if available), along with a 2-8 page writing sample (fiction or creative nonfiction).

•     The cost of the workshop is $550. If you are accepted, a $100 deposit will be required to hold your place within a week of acceptance, with full payment due by December 1. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

•     All confirmed participants will be expected to read works for discussion assigned by the instructor in advance of the workshop.

Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and application.

about Kate Moses

Kate Moses is the author of the internationally acclaimed Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath, published in fifteen languages and recipient of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and a Prix des Lectrices de Elle, and Cakewalk, A Memoir, chosen by NPR as one of their favorite memoirs of 2010, as well as the coeditor of two bestselling, award-winning anthologies of essays on motherhood, Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood and Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves — the offspring of Salon’s popular, pioneering daily feature Mothers Who Think, of which she was a founding editor during the internet’s infancy. The Fayum Portraits, a novel inspired by a 2000-year-old memorial painting, is in progress. She has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship, an American Book Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, fellowship residencies from the Djerassi Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, and has been a guest writer at numerous conferences and universities. A native San Franciscan, she now lives in Essex, New York.