Emily Raboteau, photo by Eneida Cardona
See all 2021 Workshops

This workshop is now full. You can still apply to be considered as an alternate (it is common for us to have a cancellation or two over the course of the year).

workshop description

This workshop-style class will focus on writing and reading experimental nonfiction. While we’ll cover a range of nonfiction components, we’ll pay especially close attention to the fringes of nonfiction; that is, innovating the essay via structure, language, content, form, image, and other techniques. We’ll spend some time reading and reacting to exemplary alternative modes of nonfiction and consider the benefits of specific fringe forms such as the collage, photo, and lyric essay. We’ll also discuss the blurring of genre boundaries and the incorporation of forms, techniques, technologies, and tropes traditionally associated with poetry, fiction, visual art, drama, journalism, social media, and/or other literature subgenres. We’ll examine original texts that expand the way we think about form and about the worldtexts that defy easy classification and hopefully redirect our brains from genre provincialism. After reading for inspiration, students will generate or revise essays about the contemporary moment, in conversation with assigned readings.


Apply via Submittable

•  This is a mixed levels workshop — it is open to writers of all levels, and requires no advance writing submission in the application. Please upload a cover letter via Submittable that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your writing background and prior workshop experience, if any (500 words or fewer).

•  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.

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

about Emily Raboteau

Emily Raboteau is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter (Henry Holt), and a work of creative nonfiction, Searching for Zion (Grove/Atlantic), which was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and winner of a 2014 American Book Award. Her fiction and essays have been widely published and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Tin House, McSweeney’s, BuzzFeed, Literary Hub, the Guardian, Guernica, VQR, the Believer, Salon, and elsewhere. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Literary Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Lannan Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony. An avid world traveler and occasional street photographer, Raboteau resides in New York City and teaches creative writing in the City College of New York, once known as the “poor man’s Harvard.”