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Claiming Our Stories, Part One

The Power of Writing Memoir & Autobiographical Fiction

(Photo by Brigitta Schneiter on Unsplash)

In this course, you will:

  • Learn approaches to expand and deepen your creativity, bringing forward powerful images and potent moments in your story.
  • Learn to access memories difficult or painful to recall, through story craft, sensory exercises, and writing explorations.
  • Learn to work with details of description that do more than one job, as they should.
  • Find the narrator of your life, or of your fictional story.
  • Learn to flesh out other voices that inhabit your memory and imagination, making them surprising, complex, and able to move your story forward.

Whether you have wanted to tell your own life story, or are drawn to embody your truths in fiction peopled by your own invention, we will explore ways of working with your experience to bring forward stories with powerful truth at their core.

Through the eye-opening lectures and generative writing explorations of this course you can expect to take great steps in the process of writing story, from opening and revealing the work, to developing and crystallizing it, using both the truth of your experience and the brilliance of your imagination.

You’ll dive deep through a series of grounded lectures, expansive writing explorations, memory and sensory exercises, and focused and open-ended freewrites; with help from the work of evocative writers using a vast spectrum of approaches.

You will draw on what is deepest in you to write the stories you have always wanted to tell, locate the narrators of your life, flesh out other voices that inhabit your memory and imagination, and find the structure of your telling.

Whether you are straining to find a way into your material, or trying to “re-vision” your work to bring forward its meaning and thematic coherence, this course can propel your writing forward. It will support your work with memory and what it reveals, develop strategies to keep your memory activated, and create a compelling narrator able to tell your story.

The lectures and writing explorations work to expand and deepen your creativity; bring forward powerful images, potent moments, metaphors, and underlying meaning; and help you weave the parts of your story together into one.


Get started now!



Testimonials

"The lessons are works of art in themselves. The writing explorations/suggestions are like little miracles that bring together your brimming content with the stirring up of expansive craft." - Rochelle Natt

"Anya has been a delightful surprise- I can't believe I have this connection to such wisdom on the internet. I found the lessons brilliant- very full, astonishingly creative, robust material, so much packed in. The lessons stretched me, challenged me, gave me glorious permission to proceed boldly. I found her ability to hear and see and sense beyond the average just stunning, always spot-on. How does she do this? So much depth." - Rose Blanchard

Course Curriculum


  Interlude
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Unit 5: Chapters
Available in days
days after you enroll

Is this course for me?

This course is open to writers of memoir and fiction at all levels of experience

You will need to bring a desire to expand the range and depth of your creativity, your connection to your characters, and your understanding of story forms.

You will also need to a willingness to do the writing explorations and to be amazed by your growth as a writer in the range of your content, the effectiveness of your story forms, and the flow of language and ideas in your new work.

Your Instructor


Anya Achtenberg
Anya Achtenberg

ANYA ACHTENBERG is the award-winning author of the novel Blue Earth, and novella The Stories of Devil-Girl (both with Modern History Press); and poetry books, The Stone of Language (West End Press); and I Know What the Small Girl Knew (Holy Cow! Press).

Anya’s fiction and poetry have received numerous prizes and distinctions and been published in numerous literary journals. Anya is currently completing another novel, History Artist, which centers in a young woman of Cambodian and African American origins who was born at the moment the US invasion of Cambodia began.
Anya’s teaching and essays on writing craft go beyond writing conventions to develop creatively expansive and inclusive approaches reflecting the profound experiences and histories of communities that are diasporic and dislodged, disenfranchised, in resistance.
Anya has taught in person through universities, writer’s organizations and conferences. Her extensive online teaching has reached 60 countries and thousands of students to-date. Along with her numerous fiction and memoir workshops, she offers a series of multi-genre workshops, Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World, helping writers expand their craft and creativity while exploring social justice issues.
Anya is also an organizer of arts and history-focused multicultural journeys to Cuba.
For more information, please visit Anya’s website, The Disobedient Writer, here: https://thedisobedientwriter.com/

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Whether you are straining to find a way into your material, or trying to “re-vision” your work to bring forward its meaning and thematic coherence, this course can propel your writing forward. It will support your work with memory and what it reveals, develop strategies to keep your memory activated, and create a compelling narrator able to tell your story.

Get started now!