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Saturdays, Aug 19 - Aug 26
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

2 meetings
  • Summer 2023
Time of Day:
Meeting Location:
  • Hybrid
Room: Classroom 2


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Parachuting Into a Brush Fire: A Workshop On Writing a Brevity Essay

Twenty-five years ago, the affable and well-named Dinty Moore created an online magazine he named Brevity. At the time, brief pieces of nonfiction—flash memoirs—were something new. How much fire could one create in 750 words or less?

Early on, Moore was asked to define a Brevity essay. “My only original dictum was ‘scene and story over explanation’,” he wrote. As time went on, and after receiving hundreds (now thousands) of submissions, he realized that a Brevity essay could take many forms. “Pure narrative has had to make way for the lyric, the experimental and the deeply reflective.”

Then he added this perfect description: I like to imagine a brush fire, deep inside a national park. The reader is a firefighter, and the writer’s job is to drop that reader directly at the edge of the blaze to encounter the flames and smoke immediately. There is no time for the long hike in.

In this two-part workshop, we’ll do close readings of several essays that have been published in Brevity magazine, and we’ll take a look at the popular Brevity blog. Then, of course, we’ll write our own brief and glittering essays, inviting our readers to parachute into the fire.

Please note: This class or event is hybrid. Some attendees will be in-person and some will attend online. There may be a limited number of in-person seats available. If you are participating online (using Zoom or a similar live platform), students or attendees should have a stable internet connection. Class participants: you should have a computer or device with a webcam and microphone; and your Zoom link will be automatically sent to you after you register. Check your spam box if you don't see it.

  • August 19
  • August 26

The MuseTeacher: Emily Pease

Prerequisite: Open to writers with some workshop experience