Nonfiction | Seminar

1-Day Nonfiction Seminar: Writing About Addictions

Addiction is a vague word—we can be addicted to anything: bagels, our phones, the news cycle, hard drugs, marijuana, cigarettes, people, television, alcohol—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In this one-day seminar for every levels of nonfiction writer, we will read some of the best contemporary and classic essays about addictions of all sorts. We will discuss the essays, and you will be given a handful of writing prompts with in-class writing time. We will also talk about how to make something that’s inherently repetitive dramatic and interesting in our work and how to write about intoxication without glamorizing it. Chloe will provide in-class feedback on your writing and will create an encouraging and supportive environment.

You will leave class feeling more confident about your writing and with the beginning to three or more essays and strategies for how to take your addiction writing to the next level on your own.

Videos and readings discussed in class will be by writers including Mary H.K. Choi, Shane Allison, Samantha Irby, Lidia Yuknavitch, Kamna Muddagouni, Melissa Febos, Beth Alvarado, and Mary Karr. (Authors subject to change and more readings TBA in class.) 

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- The beginning of three essays

- Tools for writing about uncomfortable feelings

- Strategies for dealing with invasive questions about personal writing

- Ideas for how to successfully depict addiction in your art

- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

Chloe Caldwell

Chloe Caldwell is the author of the novella Women (SF/LD 2014) and  the essay collection I'll Tell You in Person (CHP/EB, 2016). She lives in Hudson, New York. www.chloecaldwell.com

Testimonials

"WOMEN by Chloe Caldwell is a beautiful read/a perfect primer for an explosive lesbian affair/an essential truth."

Lena Dunham actress and writer

"Prepare to shed skin. Chloe Caldwell’s essays will dare you to dissect your own life. Shot-through with sexuality and sass, her language will get up in you and turn you inside out in the best possible way."

Lidia Yuknavitch author of THE SMALL BACKS OF CHILDREN and THE CHRONOLOGY OF WATER

"Chloe Caldwell’s LEGS GET LED ASTRAY is a scorching hot glitter box of youthful despair and dark delight. Tender and sharp, wide-eyed and searching, these essays have a reckless beauty that feels to me like magic."

Cheryl Strayed author of WILD and TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS

“Chloe Caldwell has written the ideal 'female companion book'—meaning, while reading, I felt like I had a female companion with at all times. On the subway, I had my female companion. In my backpack, I had my female companion. On the sidewalk, I held on tight to my female companion, and pedestrians would stare at her, so boldly yellow in my hands. Pretty soon my female companion took up residency in my head. She helped me process the world with sass, spite, sympathy, and wit. I don’t know what could be better than a book that allows you to be alone but to never feel lonely. I’LL TELL YOU IN PERSON does this and more. It projects the most potent afterglow, and Caldwell is a writer beyond gifted and generous. She is like a sage.”

Helen Julavits author of THE FOLDED CLOCK

"One of the most endearing and exciting writers of a generation."

LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS

"Chloe Caldwell writes with an emotional intensity that is insightful, heartfelt, and often hilarious. In her new essay collection, I'LL TELL YOU IN PERSON, she perfectly captures what it’s like to try and navigate your way through the traumatic first decade of adulthood. It’s filled with a raw honesty and voyeuristic allure that’s utterly captivating."

Powells.com bookseller

"Chloe's classes changed my life. She is so honest, thoughtful, and enthusiastic about her students and their work. She attracts smart, funny, open people to her classes. I've taken nearly a dozen workshops with her now and I consistently walk away feeling energized, inspired, and like I've known the people in the class for years. Chloe's guidance, support, and genuine interest in her students gave me the courage to take my writing seriously. I've learned so much from her and can't recommend her workshops highly enough."

Emily Smith former student

"Everything I know about good writing I know from Chloe. She helped me get published for the first time on Long Reads. Her feedback is invaluable and elevated my writing to a whole new level. I'd be hard pressed to find someone with writing prompts and reading assignments as unique and powerful as hers. I always tell everyone, if you want to expand your writer's brain, talk to Chloe."

Vanessa Golenia former student

"I first became acquainted with Chloe through her writing, and was so excited to find that the combination of heart and discernment I love in WOMEN and I'LL TELL YOU IN PERSON also comes out in her teaching. Her edits are sharp and her ideas for opening a piece up are plentiful--she's helped me gain a lot of confidence and drive when it comes to drafting, rewriting, and editing my own work. "

Audrey Moyce former student

"I started working with Chloe five years ago and she has guided my work ever since. She is a generous and gifted teacher. I can hear Chloe's voice as I write, reminding me to find action, add in details and remove words I don't need. Her feedback is gentle but precise, and she has a way of building community in all her classes. You will leave a better writer, and with new writer friends. I can't recommend her highly enough."

Jillian Eugenios former student