WRITERS' WORKSHOP PROGRAM: January 10-14, 2022

David Treuer

Hook, Line, Sinker: How to Generate Drama and Momentum in Creative Nonfiction

David Treuer, photo by Dania Maxwell
  • January 10-14, 2022
  • Mixed Levels, $600
See all 2021 Workshops


This workshop has been postponed until 2022

It’s easy enough to recognize the main ingredients in compelling stories and novels: the need to create conflict and plot that drive a story forward and keep the reader on the edge of his/her seat. That kind of drive is just as important in nonfiction, but it is harder to generate because often our “plots” are handed to us, we don’t make them. And when writing creative nonfiction, the problem looms larger: how (and when) to give the life of the mind—our thoughts—a dramatic arc?

We will focus on students’ work. In addition, we will read and discuss and provide strategies for making our nonfiction more compelling. This workshop is geared toward those working on idea-driven and creative nonfiction books and longer essays, as opposed to memoir.


  • This is an mixed level workshop.
  • Please submit a cover letter that briefly states the idea behind the book you’re working on and gives an overview of your writing background and prior workshop experience, if any.
  • The cost is $600. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $200 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

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


Bestselling author David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. His nonfiction book, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, was a 2019 finalist for both the National Book Award and Carnegie Medal. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, two Minnesota Book Awards, and fellowships from the NEH, Bush Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He divides his time between his home on the Leech Lake Reservation and Los Angeles, where he is professor of English at USC.