This course is for all levels of writers and readers; the only requirement is a desire to take a deep dive into the unique art of autofiction (autobiographical fiction). The beauty of autofiction is that it can provide you the opportunity to cull directly from your lived experiences, yet it provides the freedom and safety to fictionalize in a way that reads like the truth. We will read and discuss excerpts from contemporary authors who write within the genre, such as Lucia Berlin, Tao Lin, Edouard Louis, Chris Kraus, Ayak Akhtar, and others, in addition to weekly craft essays on the genre. There will be an opportunity to submit either at least one short excerpt of your writing (can be from a short story or novel-in-progress) to be workshopped during the course. Over the length of our class, we will spend time discussing your work and goals through a bigger-picture lens, ie… your writing practice, publication goals, or a possible story collection or a novel. And most importantly, the goal of this course is to be inspired and to feel supported in your writing. You’ll leave class with a true sense of writing autofiction and at least a handful of polished pages.
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.
- a concrete understanding of the unique art of autofiction
- inspiring community dialogue and critique of contemporary autofiction authors
- opportunity to workshop at least one short story or novel excerpt
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Weekly readings: approx 10-15pp of excerpts
Weekly writing: submit approx 1500 words per week, even if it’s not your week to workshop (I would like to keep this workshop generative); I will provide short written feedback each week.
We will be using Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process as a basis for workshopping.
Week 1: Introductions
Week 2: Workshop
Week 3: Workshop
Week 4: Workshop
Week 5: Workshop
Week 6: Workshop
Frances was born and raised in Queens, New York and Suburban New Jersey, but she now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and son. Her novel, I Don't Blame You, was published in 2019 and her second novel, Salad Days, is forthcoming in October. Some of her shorter work can be found at The Believer Magazine, Longreads, Vol.1 Brooklyn, Entropy and elsewhere.
"Frances Badalamenti proves to be a talented and evocative writer. I DON'T BLAME YOU is a powerful, heady, debut novel, gorgeously interweaving the story of grief, acceptance, and love. A must read."
"SALAD DAYS is the gritty, moving portrait of a young woman who completely upends her life trying to figure out who she is and what she wants, set against the gray, grungy background of Portland, Oregon, at a time when the city was also in flux. Badalamenti perfectly captures the alluring and maddening impenetrability of Portland for the East Coast transplant."
"I DON'T BLAME YOU is a raw, irreverent, wrenching exploration of the trauma and joy of being a daughter and a mother."
"Frances is an astute reader and editor and offers compassionate yet constructive feedback."
"Frances has been an amazing teacher, reader and editor. She has a super keen eye and is very supportive in her feedback."