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Writing Workshops

Beyond the Flashback: The Art and Science of Memory in Autofiction with Nat Mesnard


2 Sessions

Out of stock

Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am EDT - 2:00 pm EDT July 15 to July 16, 2023

Online via Zoom

What happens when we remember? Neuroscience tells us that memory is a process of reconstruction, not recall—each telling of the past is a new composition, rather than the same book checked out of the library. Beginning with this remarkable truth, we’ll explore writing memory in fiction throughout this expansive, generative course. Through prompts, breakouts, and sharing memories of our own, we will investigate how the craft of fiction interacts with stories of the past. An unfolding conversation centered on the intersection of this science and our own imaginative writing will reveal how to remember your way into new stories. You’ll leave with a new lens on your existing work in autofiction and memoir, expand your fiction toolkit beyond relying on jump-cut style flashbacks, and enjoy a curious, open-minded discussion designed to spark creativity.

Course Outline

This short, intensive online course will cover two three-hour sessions. Each session will involve the following activities to keep your creative mind active while building a collaborative conversation:

Timed Writing Prompts: Write for a set length of time in community with your classmates.

Breakout Rooms: Meet your fellow participants, share your process, and optionally read from work you’ve written during the class.

Class-Wide Discussions: Type out your thoughts in the Zoom chat on short example readings or big questions. We’ll compare and contrast ideas, and nominate a few people to talk.

Capacity: 20


Led by

  • Nat_Horizontal - Nat Mesnard

    Nat Mesnard

    Nat Mesnard

    Nat Mesnard teaches creative writing, interactive fiction and game making at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts, and helped found the indie publishing collective Scryptid Games. Nat has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Catapult, Cartridge Lit, Autostraddle, Bodega, Blackbird, Kenyon Review Online, The Gettysburg Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. Two perfect-bound print tabletop roleplaying games “Business Wizards” and “Horseshoe Academy” are out now with 9th Level Games.