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Teacher Feature: Olivia Pelham

Olivia Pelham – The David Blaine of helping people get unstuck

…Then, magically, there is is. The truth is, it was there all the time, but I am extra good at helping you find it. Ok, maybe that’s not such a master illusionist kind of thing. Maybe I’m more like the person who helps you find your car keys. Just substitute “memoir” for “car” and think how good it feels to find the key, start it up, and get moving.

— Olivia Pelham

Take Olivia’s Class: Introduction to Memoir & Creative Nonfiction: Thursday Evenings

Here’s what Olivia wants you to know about her classes:

Intro to Memoir & Creative Nonfiction is a great class for anyone who is just getting started with personal essays, travel writing, memoir, or other forms of creative nonfiction, or for those who have already established a nonfiction writing practice but want to learn more about the craft and enjoy a no-pressure, fun environment where they can generate new ideas, participate in writing exercises, and get feedback on their projects. You will come out of the course with a solid foundation for your own creative nonfiction work and you will also be a more confident reader of creative nonfiction. This is a class that is all about adventures in writing and reading. I strive to create a nonjudgmental environment that’s about exploring your unique writing style and goals. I live for that ah-ha moment that students get when they hit on the unique way they want to tell their story, feel reenergized about a piece that seemed stuck, or discover exhilarating possibilities in their writing. I also love it when a student looks at what they created for workshop or in a free-writing exercise and says, “Wow! that’s actually really good!”


Olivia’s favorite authors:

  • Zadie Smith
  • Iris Murdoch
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Michael Ondaatje
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Italo Calvino

“I love to read creative nonfiction and fiction, and I’m always looking to expand my reading list to include a diversity of authors and styles.”

Learn more about Olivia here!