Writing about your life can be daunting. On top of all the normal writerly concerns of craft and scheduling time to put pen to page: You. Are. Writing. About. Your. Real. Life. As a debut author of a personal essay collection which covers everything from internalized racism to chronic anxiety to generational trauma (and former Good Girl!), I am well versed in these fears. And as a trauma-informed yoga teacher, meditation instructor, and teaching artist, I will offer somatic and mindfulness practices to bring you closer to your most expansive creative expression.
We will connect the craft elements of character, desire, place, and conflict and how they show up on and off the page. We will learn how foundational storytelling techniques inform nonfiction storytelling (memoir, personal essay, autofiction, etc.) You will leave this class with a deeper understanding of the most powerful way to relay your life story through literary craft, practical magic, and intentional honesty. All levels of writers are welcome in this class.
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.
*No class on Nov. 25th
- Writers will create in a supportive community, learn literary craft and storytelling techniques, and close read creative nonfiction
- Writers will further develop the work they generate during these workshop sessions into a finished piece of their choice (i.e. first chapter or essay)
- Each writer will have the option to participate in at least one “lightning round” workshop, where they will receive feedback on 1-2 pages
- This is a generative workshop with a showcase after class ends (open to writers’ family and friends), where each writer will read a 5 minute excerpt of their work
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
This is a generative workshop with weekly readings (15-25 pages per week).
Week One: Desire
Week Two: Place
Week Three: Character
Week Four: Conflict
Hannah Eko is a Black-Nigerian writer, teaching artist, and creator of honeyknife, llc. Born in London, she grew up in Southern California and has lived on both sides of the ocean and some rivers in between. Her work has been featured in Buzzfeed, Bust, b*tch, make/shift, and Aster(ix) magazines. She is a 2019 recipient of the Advancing Black Arts Grant, a Peter R. Taylor Kenyon Fellow, Tin House Scholar, and VONA (Voices Of Our Nations) alum. She believes honey is the knife.
"Spiritual, carnal, erudite, and exquisitely original, Honey is the Knife is a balm and a treasure, a luminous book to be savored. Hannah Eko’s deep love for Black women imbues every line. She wants the best for Black women...And for those of us who need a guide to get there, Hannah is that gentle, vulnerable presence walking alongside us in these pages. I am smarter, more compassionate with myself, and more in awe of myself, for having read this beautiful book."
"Snippy, restless, full of juice and color, this is a Los Angeles I want to hear about and this is the voice I want whispering its secrets in my ear."
"Hannah Eko’s sparkling debut, HONEY IS THE KNIFE, is part homage, part resistance, part love letter, and part road map from bounded to unbounded Black woman thinking. At its core is Osun, the Yoruba goddess and how the goddess can inspire daughters of the diaspora. Eko has assembled a multifaceted anti-self-help manifesto that reconsiders and reconfigures a popular and problematic genre. It’s an earnest and vulnerable work written in service of what Angela Davis has called “freedom practice.” Influential luminaries like bell hooks, Ntozake Shange, and Sojourner Truth (to name a few) inform Eko’s book, which honors her ancestors and holds its own, leading the way for a new generation. Do not let this sweetness pass you by!"
"Professor Eko helped me write a fantastic personal statement that impressed my faculty advisors. We spent over six hours over the course of several weeks trying to refine my statement. My statement was not very structured, however, Professor Eko was able to offer detailed suggestions on how to change this and make my personal statement “flow” better. With her knowledge of storytelling, my statement became a polished story along with an echo of the abilities I wanted to portray to medical schools. Her suggestions changed my loosely structured personal statement to a statement that told a coherent story of how my interest in medicine have evolved."
"I finally read through ALL of your feedback for my novel. Maybe I was afraid at the idea of how much work I'd be told to do, lol! Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you! ...I love your advice to write a "shitty" first draft. Trying to be a perfectionist, or knowing that some things aren't working, but not how to fix them, has always stopped me. I am going to commit to my shitty first draft and keep it pushing...Your feedback was very clear and helpful! Thank you so much."
"Hannah is an excellent teacher, supportive facilitator, and creative spark. She is very organized and supportive. The prompts were fun and she created a safe and relaxed environment to explore our creative voices."