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Teacher Feature: Shawn Girvan

Shawn Girvan, The Brain Genius of Truth Writing

Shawn Girvan received his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. His work has appeared in The Pitkin Review, Wraparound South, and West Texas Literary Review. He has also produced a critically acclaimed documentary film, has owned a wedding videography business, and studied and performed improvisation at the Second City and IO Theaters in Chicago. Shawn currently resides in Virginia Beach where he is finishing his first memoir and watching Jeopardy with his lovely wife.

This summer, Muse teaching artist Shawn Girvan is teaching Creative Nonfiction 1 on Thursdays bi-weekly from Jul 1 – Aug 19, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm.

Creative Nonfiction 1 will empower you to move toward uncovering the true stories about yourself and the world and telling them well. We will learn, through published texts and writing exercises and assignments, how creative nonfiction writers include vivid characterization, narrative structure, dialogue, imagery, and voice to a wide range of stories, including memoir, personal essays, profile pieces, travelogues, literary journalism, and more. Each member of the class will have multiple opportunities to submit creative work for review/workshop with constructive and supportive feedback.

Shawn is also teaching Creative Nonfiction 2 on Wednesdays bi-weekly from Jun 16 – Aug 25, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm.

Creative Nonfiction 2 is open to students from Creative Nonfiction 1 and new writers with intermediate CNF writing experience will actively write and workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of writing that polishes the truth. We will learn the power of the first person and the limitations & benefits of writing in the third, practice and refine research and memory habits and techniques, continue to learn how to give and take constructive critique, and master the writing of active prose.

Here’s why Shawn thinks you should take his classes:

If you really want to know what the mysterious genre of creative nonfiction is all about, take Creative Nonfiction 1. If you are brave enough to write real creative nonfiction, join me for Creative Nonfiction 2. And right after this clause: I have written creative nonfiction five whole times!

The 4th genre might be the broadest genre of creative writing. It is more than memoir, literary journalism, or personal essay. Creative nonfiction lives in the world in many forms: in blogs, articles, travelogues, narrative and flash nonfiction, as well as experimental forms like collage essays. I look forward to exploring it with you.

Who are Shawn Girvan’s favorite authors?

  • David Sedaris
  • Sarah Vowell
  • Paul Auster

Read more about Shawn here. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @girvanaca.

See a full catalog of our Summer classes, workshops, and seminars and register HERE.

***Tuition assistance and flexibility is available to all who request it, no questions asked. Just select the “I want to talk about tuition assistance” box when checking out!