Join us for a half-day conference on nonfiction writing and publishing in partnership with the Writers House at Case Western Reserve University. The November Nonfiction Conference takes place Saturday, November 16 from 12-5pm at Clark Hall - Case Western Reserve University (11130 Bellflower Rd, Cleveland OH 44106).

This conference is designed to help nonfiction writers of all genres improve their writing and advance their careers. The day begins with a panel discussion on the craft of nonfiction, tips for improving your writing habit, and strategies for getting your work published. Participants will be able to choose between two workshops during each session. Session 1 topics include "Writing a Nonfiction Book Proposal" and " Using Place as a Character to Empower Your Memoir." Session 2 topics include "Writing Tight: An Overview of Flash Memoir" and "How to Write a Region" about engaging race and social justice in place-based writing. The day ends with a reception and book-signing.

Hone your craft with award-winning local and national authors, connect with other writers, and develop new work at this essential half-day conference.

"Writing a Nonfiction Book Proposal" with Sarah Lohman

Join published author Sarah Lohman for an introductory workshop on putting together a nonfiction book proposal, getting your proposal published, and the ins and outs of the publishing process. We’ll go over how to: Develop your idea, compose a book proposal, and find an agent.

"Using Place as a Character to Empower Your Memoir" with Charlotte Morgan

Writers can neglect the power of place to tell their story; others feel they are using place, but the results are unsatisfactory. Place based nonfiction can take many forms, including personal essays, and long form narrative novels, so writers are often bemused about how to use place confusing it with setting. Instead of leaving out this element of storytelling, learn how to incorporate place and use it as a character to evoke emotion, provide tension and create connections with readers. In this workshop, writers will be provided with brief samples that use the craft of place as a character. Then, we will write using what we’ve learned, and some participants will share their work.

"Writing Tight: An Overview of Flash Memoir" with Judah Leblang

This session is designed for writers (at all levels) who want to develop new work and to explore the forms of memoir vignettes for the purpose of storytelling through print. We will examine the structure of effective short or flash memoirs (under 800 words), and complete one or two in class writing exercises.

"How to Write a Region" with Lawrence Lanahan

Lawrence Lanahan, author of The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore’s Racial Divide, will retrace his steps in creating a narrative nonfiction portrait of an American metropolitan region. The Lines Between Us chronicles decades of life in the Baltimore region in a way that refuses to look away from segregation and racial inequality. Lanahan will discuss how he arrived at his book’s three-storyline structure; his approach to researching, reporting, and interviewing; how to find the best archives and data; how he used the two families in the title not just to create compelling stories but to illustrate the social forces that create rich spaces and poor spaces, white spaces and black spaces; how his approach can be replicated outside of Baltimore; and why he decided to write about drunk people spraying beer and showing off butt tattoos in reaction to the Baltimore Orioles winning the ’83 World Series.

Saturday, November 16, 2019
12:00 pm
5:00 pm
Class Level:
All Levels
All Levels
Class Categories:

Work with the best...

Sarah Lohman

Sarah Lohman is a culinary historian and the author of the bestselling book Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine. She focuses on the history of American food as a way to access stories of diverse Americans. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Her current project, Endangered Eating: Exploring America’s Vanishing Cuisine will be released with W.W. Norton & Co. in Fall 2022.

Charlotte Morgan

Charlotte Morgan holds a Masters in English (Creative Writing) from Cleveland State University where she has taught Composition and Intro to Fiction. Charlotte’s passion is helping people find their creative cultural voices. In 2018, she worked on Cleveland Stories, an anthology published by Literary Cleveland. Presently she is polishing "Glenville: My Side of Paradise”, a memoir on race and place.

Judah Leblang

Judah Leblang is a storyteller, memoirist and writing teacher. His essays and commentaries have been broadcast throughout the US on more than 150 NPR and ABC-network radio stations, as well as several Canadian stations. He is a regular columnist for Bay Windows, Boston’s gay newspaper, and an instructor at Grub Street. He is the author of two memoirs: Finding My Place (2013) and Echoes of Jerry (2019).

Lawrence Lanahan

Lawrence Lanahan has worked in radio and print journalism for over a decade, including five years producing for WYPR, Baltimore's NPR station. At WYPR, he won a duPont Award for "The Lines Between Us," a year-long multimedia series about inequality. His new book, The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore's Racial Divide, was published by The New Press on May 21, 2019.

Clark Hall - Case Western Reserve University

11130 Bellflower Rd, Cleveland OH 44106

For information on parking, please see the CWRU website: The nearest lot is 52A (11407 Bellflower Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106), which is just down the street from Writer’s House. Best options after that are the Uptown Triangle garage, the Little Italy RTA lot, or metered street parking.

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