Claiming Our Stories, Part Two

The Power of Memoir/Creative Nonfiction & Autobiographical Fiction

In this course, you will:

  • Learn many approaches to bring forward the chapters and structure of your story, all the while continuing to write new work.
  • Learn how to both show and tell, an essential pairing for the narrators of both memoir and fiction.
  • Learn how to locate and write the combustibility that moves story, and brings characters into surprising action and change.
  • Learn how to use various techniques including: speculation and imagination, representative scenes, mosaic or modular form, juxtaposition and simultaneity, in both fiction and memoir to develop and complete story.
  • Learn to work with the organizing power of metaphor and image to discover the meaning of your story.

Course Description:

In Part Two of Claiming Our Stories: The Power of Memoir/Creative Nonfiction & Autobiographical Fiction, you will continue to explore ways of working with your own experience and the brilliance of your imagination to bring forward stories with powerful truth at their core.

You’ll dive deep through another series of grounded eye-opening lectures and expansive writing explorations; with help from the work of evocative writers using a vast spectrum of approaches.

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 will propel your writing forward. You will continue to develop compelling and surprising narrators able to tell your story, with distinct and expressive language.

The lectures and writing explorations will nourish your work by filling up your writer’s toolbox, so that you can open up your stories and complete them way beyond you expectations. With the help of these rich writing explorations grounded in craft and informed by others’ exquisite writing and far-reaching content, you will also move toward finding the underlying meaning and coherence of your stories. You’ll be on your way to seeing your stories completed beautifully and powerfully, and holding the fullness of your experience and imagination.


"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

"Your lessons are brilliant in their individual scope but also in their sequencing. You are leading us all to becoming better writers than we ever might have been had we not known you." Karol Bailey

"First, I want to thank you for offering a course that is beyond anything I could have hoped for, in every respect: your lectures that include a wealth of brilliant literature and your own brilliant writing and ideas about writing. Your assignments opened the doors to possibilities, inspiring us to find our way. Each lesson dense with all things literary firing the imagination and energizing the writer within." Anne Ferrara

Author Bio:

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 many literary journals. She 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; and another collection of poetry, Matadors at the Crossing.

Anya’s teaching and essays on writing craft go beyond writing conventions to develop expansive and inclusive creative approaches that reflect 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 and privately. 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, the Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World Workshop Series, which help writers reframe and expand our ideas about craft and creativity through the lens of the yearning for social justice. Anya is also an organizer of arts and history-focused multicultural journeys to Cuba.

She will soon be launching a double blog, Writing in Upheaval, available widely, and Juicy Craft Points for Writers, available only to supporters on, at:

For more information, please visit Anya’s website, The Disobedient Writer, at: and her Patreon page

Course Curriculum

  Beginning: A warm welcome, and some helpful notes
Available in days
days after you enroll

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.

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