Online | Nonfiction | Seminar

2-Week Nonfiction Generative Seminar: Writing the Body

The weird and wild body is a rich site of exploration in creative nonfiction. How do we occupy our bodies, what do we do with them, how do we feel in them? What is the relationship between the body and the self?

By delving into spaces of illness, sexuality, athletics, genetics, and more, we can bring some of the truths of our bodies to the page and begin to tell bigger truths about the experience of being human and alive.

In this two-session generative seminar for writers with all levels of experience, you will be guided through readings from writers like Melissa Febos, Maddie Norris, and Sarah Ramey, prompts, and practices that allow you the opportunity to explore the questions, stories, and lessons your body holds.

Writers will leave this class with a deeper understanding of how to write their physical experiences, an increased skill set in the craft of body writing, and a keen eye for analyzing the meaning of physical culture.

Scholarship opportunity: New parents, I see you. In an effort to keep this class accessible and in acknowledgement of how incredibly hard it is to write with a baby, the instructor is offering a full scholarship for a student who is a new parent. If you want to take this class but the fee is a barrier, please apply by sending a short (you can type it on your iPhone!) statement on why access to the class is important to you to [email protected] by January 24th, with the subject line “Margo Steines Generative Seminar Scholarship."

Our class platform works best on laptop or desktop computers. Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features. The Zoom calls will have automated transcription enabled. Please let us know ([email protected]) if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility. 

Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.  


- Learn how to write about your physical experiences with precision and accuracy.

- Connect your embodied experiences and your relationship with your body to your work on the page.

- Locate and write about the spaces of physical culture in your own life and in the world around you.

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


Out-of-class workload will be relatively low: two chunks of reading, and about two hours of writing between the two sessions. Student work will not be shared in class and no feedback on student writing will be given.


Week 1: Finding Your Body

-discussion about body writing with precise language

-writing exercises

WEEK 2: Body, Meet Page

-discussion about bringing intense embodied experience to the page and trauma considerations

-writing exercises

Margo Steines

Margo Steines is a native New Yorker, a journeyman ironworker, and serves as mom to a wildly spirited small person.

Margo holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Arizona and lives and writes in Tucson, AZ. Her work was named Notable in Best American Essays 2021 and has appeared in The Sun, Brevity, The New York Times (Modern Love), the anthology Letter to a Stranger, and elsewhere. She is the author of the memoir Brutalities, forthcoming from W.W. Norton.

Margo’s author photo is by Aidan Avery @aidanaveryphoto


"There is nothing ordinary about this book. It is a brainy, elegant, erotic, brutal, funny, hypnotic achievement by an author obsessed with the far reaches of what it means to live in a body, and how some kinds of love look like violence while others can be medicine. It has made a devotee of me; I'll read anything Margo Steines ever writes."

Melissa Febos

"Margo Steines is a radical writer and also a slyly hilarious one. She goes places most of us dare not go and comes back with surprising truths that tell us as much about us as they do about her. This is the trick of great self-writing, to understand just how capacious the self can be and how porous with the wildnesses of the world. Steines's writing is alive, weird, dark, and electric."

Ander Monson

"Margo is an incredible writer, but she also understands the vulnerability of making new art. She listens, encourages, and is wonderful at sussing out our strengths. I feel safe, and never shameful, when showing new work to Margo, and her guidance and feedback is always brilliant and precise. Her mind is a gift."

Natalie Lima

"I could not more highly recommend working with Margo. She approached my piece with sensitivity and regard, offering both her broader perspective of its work in the world and her understanding of its significance for me. I learned from her observations and questions without feeling judged or told what to do. And her professional boundaries are clear and kind and reasonable!'

coaching client

“Margo built a welcoming and friendly environment in her classroom where she encouraged constructive conversation and idea-sharing. Taking her classes allowed me to learn more about myself as a person and as a writer.”

former student