Nonfiction | Workshop

6-Week Nonfiction Workshop: Graphic Memoir for Writers

"Comics work the way the brain works. Pictures-signs mixed with little bits of language. Past, present and future all scrambled and butted up against each other—the perfect medium for depicting memory." – Art Spiegelman

Why are comics—the playground of super heroes and furry friends—so hospitable to writing true, personal stories? In this six week course, we will explore the unique way comics map memory in order to tell stories about the past. Together we will learn and “borrow” the graphic storytelling techniques of genre bending comic masters to tell our own stories. You may come with a story you’re dying to tell, or you may discover one through this course.

Emphasis will be on process, exploration through guided exercises, and imitation of established styles. Each student will be formally workshopped once, and informal sharing of work in process will occur throughout. Students will leave with one draft of a graphic essay, or the first chapter of something longer—and a sense of where that work might lead.

Writers of all levels are welcome and non-artists encouraged to enroll—there are many ways to tell stories with pictures.


- One-on-one meeting for individual conference

- One draft of a graphic essay, or the first chapter to a longer work

- Learn tools and skills from graphic-storytelling masters

- A better understanding of visual narratives and how to apply those techniques to your own work

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

Amy Kurzweil

Amy Kurzweil is a New Yorker cartoonist and the author of Flying Couch: a graphic memoir (a New York Times Editor's Choice and a Kirkus Best Memoir of 2016). Her writing, comics, and cartoons have also appeared in The Believer Magazine, Longreads, Lit Hub, Wired, Moment Magazine, Catapult, and many other places. She teaches widely and lives in Brooklyn.


"Amy Kurzweil’s moving debut is a story of trauma and survival, and a search for identity and belonging. Fluctuating, in words and images, from the bubbly to the intense, this graphic memoir exposes the complicated and powerful ways we are shaped by the histories and relationships that anchor us."


"I read FLYING COUCH in one sitting, without moving, literally laughed and literally cried."

Rachel Fershleiser

"FLYING COUCH is a moving, intricate story of identity and family history."

Ariel Schrag author of ADAM

"FLYING COUCH is perfect. It’s perceptive, emotionally on point, surprising and funny in its details, told in an intuitive way that’s completely direct, and about something that matters. This is an important book."

Liana Finck author of THE BINTEL BRIEF