Nonfiction Workshop: Intermediate Nonfiction Writing


Nonfiction Workshop: Intermediate Nonfiction Writing


Level: Intermediate

Location: Online
Duration: 8 weeks
Begins: April 1, 2019
Ends: May 26, 2019


This class is for the student who already knows the basics of nonfiction writing. It is also for those of you who are at, or near, the beginning of a nonfiction work whether it be a personal essay, a memoir or other types of creative nonfiction. If you took our Introduction to Nonfiction Writing workshop, then this is the next class for you.

This 8-week intermediate class is for writers who already have a grasp of the persona, audience, and purpose driving their work—albeit personal essay, memoir, or other creative nonfiction. In this class, we bring each student’s project further towards the ultimate goal of completion by using drafting, critique, and revision. The class starts with a quick review of the elements that go into nonfiction writing. We delve deeper into those elements as the weeks progress. Craft readings and writing exercises are a part of each week’s assignments. Students submit work for instructor feedback each week. They also exchange feedback with other students twice during the term (during weeks four and eight). Like all Pen and Paper Writing Workshops, this class is conducted in a safe, nurturing and caring environment.

Class Outline

Week 1: A Quick Review of Nonficition Writing Elements

Week 2: The Process of Drafting

Week 3: How Critiquing is Used

Week 4: Let’s Start Revising

Week 5: A Deeper Look at Characters

Week 6: Digging Down: The Use of Time

Week 7: Further Investigation of the Persona

Week 8: A Look Back & A Finished 1st Draft

Instructor Bio

Sara Marchant received her MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside/Palm Desert. Her nonfiction appears in the WOC anthology All the Women in My Family Sing, and her novella, Let Me Go, appears in Running Wild Press’ novella anthology. She is a founding editor of Writers Resist. Her writing has also been published by The Manifest Station, Every Writer’s Resource, Full Grown People, Brilliant Flash Fiction, The Coachella Review, Writers Resist, East Jasmine Review, Jewish Fiction and ROAR.

Long ago and far away, she worked for the San Diego Natural History Museum in their Binational Education Department where she was she able to utilize her BA in Latin American History. At Mt. San Jacinto College in San Jacinto, California, she teaches Critical Thinking and Writing to the new generation in the hopes that they will someday save our society from its nihilistic impulses. She lives in the high desert of Southern California with her husband, two dogs, a goat and five chickens.


“With her observant eye and subtly brilliant insight, Sara Marchant captures moments in people’s lives that are powerfully universal, that would otherwise be overlooked, forgotten, their truths unmined. Her essays and narrative nonfiction offer indelible images of humanity at its best, its worst, and at its wonderfully eccentric and funny and heartbreaking. Sara’s writing is sparse, yet rich, and so important.”

Kit-Bacon Gressit, Prose Editor, Writers Resist

“Sara Marchant has definitely furthered my education in critical thinking and writing. Ms. Marchant, a skilled professor, shows no boundaries in the ways she helps advance her students to new levels in their writing and in their ability to think critically.”

Ulysses Jaramillo, Student, Critical Thinking and Writing, Mt. San Jacinto College

“Sara Marchant is a great teacher. She‘s always quick to respond and super helpful. She’s also lots of fun, plus she’s really smart and diligent. She puts 110%, if not more, into performing whatever task is at hand. I give her the highest of recommendations.”

Justin Perkins, Student, Critical Thinking and Writing, Mt. San Jacinto College