Telling True Stories: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop

In her personal essay “On Keeping a Notebook,” Joan Didion wrote, “I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not…Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point.” We took Didion’s words straight to heart in this workshop as we explored our own life material—our stories and those of our friends and family members—and practiced shaping those stories into compelling works of creative nonfiction. Such work has a lot in common with writing strong fiction, and it's often fertile terrain for poets too. Stories that explored the power and delight of saying “I” filled the room.

Susannah Felts is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, and the co-founder of The Porch, Nashville's center for writing. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and taught there for many years before relocating to Nashville, her hometown, where she's taught at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film and at the Porch. Susannah is the author of a novel,   This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record  , and her stories and essays have appeared in publications such as   The Sun  ,   Quarterly West,     Five Chapters, McSweeney's, Wigleaf, Smokelong Quarterly, LitHub  , and others. She is a contributing writer for Humanities Tennessee's Chapter16.org, for which she writes book reviews, author interviews, and features. Her journalistic work has appeared in many outlets including the Chicago   Reader  , the Nashville   Scene  ,   Serious Eats  ,   Nashville Lifestyles,   and many others. Susannah lives in East Nashville with her husband, the writer Todd Dills, and daughter Thalia.

Susannah Felts is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, and the co-founder of The Porch, Nashville's center for writing. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and taught there for many years before relocating to Nashville, her hometown, where she's taught at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film and at the Porch. Susannah is the author of a novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, and her stories and essays have appeared in publications such as The SunQuarterly West, Five Chapters, McSweeney's, Wigleaf, Smokelong Quarterly, LitHub, and others. She is a contributing writer for Humanities Tennessee's Chapter16.org, for which she writes book reviews, author interviews, and features. Her journalistic work has appeared in many outlets including the Chicago Reader, the Nashville SceneSerious EatsNashville Lifestyles, and many others. Susannah lives in East Nashville with her husband, the writer Todd Dills, and daughter Thalia.