In this generative class for serious writers of nonfiction, you will explore different tools for times when you feel blocked or overwhelmed about where to begin. Class is structured around a series of fun writing prompts designed to lead you to your best work, as well as readings that correspond to the prompts and motivating lectures in which I share writing tips and advice for breaking through creative blocks.
Writers will leave class with five wildly varied essays to expand upon, and with a keener sense of how to move forward next time you’re stuck in a project. At the end of class, I will provide encouraging and constructive feedback to each student in the form of an editorial memo that addresses all six prompts–this note will include individual reading lists and personalized advice on publication (from venues to the submission process). Students will also give and receive feedback on each other's work, and we will discuss the work submitted in our weekly live chats.
- Drafts of five different personal essays
- Detailed feedback from your instructor and your fellow classmates
- Access to generative writing prompts
- Tips for moving past writer's block
- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Week One: Voice
Week Two: Perspective/Point of View
Week Three: Setting
Week Four: Theme
Week Five: Reshaping the Past
Week Six: Pitching & Publishing
CHLOE CALDWELL is the author of the essay collection I’ll Tell You in Person (Coffee House/Emily Books, 2016), the critically acclaimed novella, WOMEN (SF/LD, 2014), and the essay collection Legs Get Led Astray (SF/LD). Chloe’s nonfiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Buzzfeed, New York Magazine, Longreads, Vice, Salon.com, The Rumpus, and many anthologies including "Goodbye To All That: Writers On Loving and Leaving NYC" and her essay "Hungry Ghost" was listed as Notable in the 2016 Best American Nonrequired Reading. She lives in Hudson, New York with her family.
“I’ve read Chloe Caldwell’s essays online, one on the tiny screen of my phone just because it was too good to stop reading. She’s young. She’s talented. She’s not even halfway to where she’s going yet, but she’s got it in her to go. Her prose has a reckless beauty that feels to me like magic.”
“You might think a small-press autobiographical novella called WOMEN that features one transgender man and texts with one cisgender man would find its way into the hands of only so many people. In the case of Chloe Caldwell’s book, this has not been true. Perhaps because the story interacts with the reader, with The Narrator exposing her own fears, obsessions, and insecurities as we follow along.”
“WOMEN is a skillfully and engrossingly written novella, a small slice of overwhelming love and heartbreak, and the search for belonging and self. Caldwell proves herself as a writer to watch in the coming years.”
“WOMEN by Chloe Caldwell is a beautiful read/a perfect primer for an explosive lesbian affair/an essential truth.”
“Chloe Caldwell is one of our great stylists, one of our most candid and electric voices. Caldwell has the rarest gift: Her writing has charisma. I would follow it anywhere.”
“Chloe Caldwell tells you all her secrets in a controlled mania so that we can devour them in a more compulsive fashion. I couldn’t stop reading this book, and when I was finished I kept looking around to see where my awesome new friend went. She’s right in here, brimming with most excellent girl-dom, a commitment to experience that feels religious. I love this person’s life and I love the way she writes about it – funny and blunt and chatty and truthful.”