Close and Bright: A Nonfiction Workshop
Presented by Tessa Fontaine


1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
State Library

The story you’re trying to tell can feel like a vast, dark expanse. Where will you shine your flashlight for your reader? How can you make that which you illuminate bright enough to support the story? When do you shut your light off? In this vigorously generative workshop, we will write lots of new material, focusing on the very particular details of what our flashlights illuminate and how shining close and bright is often more effective than wide and broad. This workshop is applicable to many kinds of nonfiction, including literary nonfiction, the personal essay, memoir, literary journalism, researched stories, and more. Though there are many approaches to different kinds of nonfiction, poet and memoirist Mark Doty reminds us that no matter what, in description, you are both saying what you see, and what you see. We’ll explore both. 

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Tessa Fontaine is the author of The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts, a New York Times editor's choice, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, an Amazon Editors' Best Books of 2018 (so far) & Best of the Month featured debut, and more. Other writing can be found in Glamour, The Believer, LitHub, FSG's Works in Progress, and Creative Nonfiction. She has taught for The New York Times summer journeys, at the Universities of Alabama and Utah, in prisons and jails, and founded the Salt Lake City Writers in the Schools program.



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