Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown

24Pearlstreet Workshops

Michelle Tea Memoir that Reads Like Fiction: Fall Non-Fiction December 11 to December 15, 2017 Tuition: $400 Class Size: 12 Session: fall Level: 1 week asynchronous workshop

Memoirist, novelist and poet Michelle Tea will advise on the creation of a memoir that has the cinematic feel and the singular voice of an immersive novel. Learn techniques to distance yourself from your own experience, face down fears, slaughter sentimentality, engage in ruthless honesty and create a version of yourself that is both truthful and larger than life. In addition to style and craft we will touch on the personal concerns that inevitably arise when a writer takes on the telling of their own story. You will leave this class will a firmer understanding of what your memoir needs to come alive and how to make it happen.

Students should come to class with a piece of approximately 2,500 words to be workshopped. Over the course of the week, they will receive feedback on their piece from Michelle and their peers. Michelle will also lead discussions about various aspects of writing memoir, based on daily blog posts and excerpts from work by Eileen Myles, Ariel Gore, Brontez Purnell, Margo Jefferson, Phoebe Robertson, Hilton Als and Lena Dunham. Class will conclude with one-on-one feedback from Michelle, communicated either by phone or Skype.


Michelle Tea is the author of five memoirs, including the award-winning Valencia, and How to Grow Up, published January 2015 on Plume/Penguin. She is also the author of the poetry collection The Beautiful, and three novels, with more in the works. She has edited four collections of memoir-based writings, and is the founder and editor of Mutha Magazine, an alternative online parenting magazine focusing on personal stories. Tea blogs regularly about her experiences trying to get pregnant in the column Getting Pregnant with Michelle Tea on She is the editor of Sister Spit Books, an imprint of City Lights, and founder and Artistic Director of the queer-feminist literary organization, RADAR Productions.