Writing Fiction from Real Life: An Online Generative Class with Vanessa Mártir



Do you have stories you want to tell and need help telling them.

Or, say, you have these stories about your life that you want to write but you don’t want to piss anyone off or aren’t ready to admit this really happened to you–label it fiction!

Or, perhaps, you’ve been writing fiction forever and want to dig into what it means to use your real life as fodder for your fiction.

Or maybe you’re mostly a memoir/personal essay writer and you’re interested in writing fiction.

No matter where you’re coming from, if the title of this class piqued your interest, there’s a reason for it.

What I love about fiction is that we are free to use all of the materials of our human experience in writing it.


What do I know about writing fiction from real life? I wrote two novels running away from memoir: A Woman’s Cry (Augustus Publishing, 2007) and The Write Play (unpublished). I’ve also had short stories published that were written using materials from my life, like the flash piece Dollhead, published in SmokeLong Quarterly in 2016.

I know that using my life, the people I’ve known, the experiences I’ve had, have given me a wonderful foundation to work with in my stories.

In this class, participants will:

  1. use personal experiences and observations to craft compelling fiction and characters;
  2. receive insight into my inspirations and methods, which will help you take away some fresh ideas for your own writing;
  3. generate material to take with you and hopefully keep working on; and
  4. build scenes and story starters;
  5. leave with a toolkit of practical approaches for translating real-life elements into fuel for your fiction.


Class Information

Dates: November 8, 15, 29 

Time: 7pm-9pm EST

Price: $50 for one class, $90 for two, $130 for three (including a $25 nonrefundable registration fee

Platform: Zoom (via videoconference)

For more information, contact Vanessa at writingourlivesworkshop@gmail.com with “Writing Fiction from Real Life” in the subject box.

This class does not include workshopping of student projects.


About the facilitator:

Vanessa Mártir is a NYC based writer, educator and mama. She is currently completing her memoir, A Dim Capacity for Wings, and chronicles the journey at vanessamartir.blog. A five-time VONA/Voices and two-time Tin House fellow, Vanessa’s work has appeared in Bitch Media, The Butter, Smokelong Quarterly, Kweli Journal, As/Us Journal and the VONA/Voices Anthology, Dismantle, among others. She has essays forthcoming in Not That Bad, edited by Roxane Gay, and Connections: An Integrated Reader and Rhetoric for College Writing, edited by Kerry Beckford and Donald Jones. Vanessa is the founder of the #52essays2017 challenge, and created the Writing Our Lives Workshop through which she’s helped hundreds of writers write their own personal and memoir essays.


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