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12 Months To A Full Memoir or Essay Collection with Chloe Caldwell
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12 Months To A Full Memoir or Essay Collection: A Generative Workshop with Chloe Caldwell, Starts January 24th, 2023

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Program Will Start January 24th, 2023

Please do not pay for the mentorship until you receive a formal acceptance notification via email.

Click HERE to Apply. Early applications are encouraged as space is limited.

Any questions about this mentorship? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Led by Chloe Caldwell, author of three books: the essay collection I’ll Tell You in Person (Coffee House/Emily Books, 2016), the critically acclaimed novella WOMEN (SF/LD 2014 and Harper Collins UK, 2017), and Legs Get Led Astray. Her memoir, The Red Zone: A Love Story was published on April 19th, 2022, from Soft Skull. Read her work in The Cut, NY Times, Vice, Salon, Longreads, Nylon, Bon Appétit, and many more publications.

12 Months To A Full Memoir or Essay Collection: A Generative Workshop with Chloe Caldwell

First Page To Final Page: Write Your Memoir In A Year

35 sessions / Tuesdays 6:00PM — 8:30PM EST

The thing that’s missing from writing a book in solitude is accountability and community. In this year-long course (with breaks), students will be able to find the support and encouragement they need to make it from that first page to the last.

In this 12-month First Book Generator Workshop, writers will complete a full manuscript while working alongside their peers and receiving feedback and guidance from Chloe. The course will be split into three sections:

1. Readings, lectures, exercises, and guest speakers (20 sessions: January 24th — June 6th 2023)

The first section of the course will consist of craft lectures and readings of first memoirs by writers such as Michelle Tea, Samantha Irby, and more TBA. This part will focus on how established writers launched their careers. Guest authors like Isaac Fitzgerald, Michelle Tea, Jen Winston, Jill Louise Busby, and Greg Mania will join the class to talk about their work Throughout this section, writers will also complete craft exercises intended to aid in their memoir writing process. Writers will have an opportunity to share new passages–should they wish–every time the class meets. Each student will have two individual meetings with Chloe.

Guest Faculty will include (list is subject to change):

  • February 14th: Samantha Mann, author of Putting Out and Other Essays
  • February 21: Melissa Faliveno, author of TOMBOYLAND 
  • February 28th: Jill Louise Busby, author of Unfollow Me: Essays on Complicity   
  • March 7th: Andrew Bomback, author of Doctor 
  • March 21st: Frances Badalamenti, author of I Don’t Blame You
  • March 28th: Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir 
  • April 4th: Elissa Bassist, author of Hysterical 
  • April 11th: Jen Winston, author of Greedy: Notes From a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much
  • April 18th: Amy Fusselman, author of The Pharmacist’s Mate
  • April 25th: Emma Bolden, author of The Tiger and the Cage 
  • May 2nd: Mikaela Grantham, author of Hardcore 
  • May 9th: Sara Petersen, author of Momfluenced: Inside The Maddening, Picture-Perfect, World of Mommy Influencer Culture
  • May 16th: Greg Mania, author of Born To Be Public
  • May 23rd: Cheryl Klein, author of Cry Baby: Infertility, Illness, and Other Things That Were Not The End of The World 
  • May 30th: Aaron Burch, author of The Body 
  • June 6th: Jason Schwartzman, author of No One You Know

2. Peer Workshops (10 sessions: September 5th —November 7th, 2023)

During the workshop phase, each student will receive two peer workshops of their manuscript using the Critical Response Process and will meet with the instructor twice individually to discuss their work-in-progress.

3. The Literary World (5 sessions: November 21 — December 19th) Marketplace and submitting (December 5th — January 23rd, 2024)

The final two months of the course will be devoted to professionalization. Agents, editors, and published authors will join the class to talk about their experiences in the literary world. This will be an opportunity for writers to speak openly about their expectations and aims for their careers with established literary professionals. Each student will meet once more with Chloe to create concrete goals and recommendations tailored uniquely for them.

While this course cannot guarantee the publication of your manuscript, all writers should leave the course with a completed first draft of their manuscript and a greater understanding of how to build a literary career.

What you will receive:

  • 120 hours of instruction
  • A finished book to submit to contests, editors, and agents
  • Access to ask questions to guest authors, editors, and agents
  • Peer and Instructor feedback
  • Five 45 minute 1:1 sessions with Chloe
  • Writing tools that will last a lifetime
  • Exercises and readings
  • New friends and community
  • A sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with finishing a book

Click HERE to Apply.

Selected essays published under Chloe’s mentorship and edits:

"TikTok Made Me Gay" by Emma Turetsky in The Cut

"We Should Really Stop Using The Phrase 'Put Up For Adoption'" by Chris Phillips in romper

“On an Italian Island, How He Met My Mother” by Jessica Silvester The New York Times

The Next Level of Commitment” by Vanessa Golenia on Longreads

"Teeth" by Rachel King in The Sun

My Break Up Survival Plan by Courtney Kocak in The Washington Post

Infinity” by Audrey Moyce in Vol. 1 Brooklyn


“I have studied twice with Chloe, and both times I have come away inspired, energized, and empowered with tools to do my best writing and get my work out into the world. She has a knack for organizing knowledge and presenting it in a structured way, while also guiding writers to tap into the deep well of their truth and write from that place. Studying with Chloe will make you a better writer and a better advocate for your own work.” —Emily Neves

"My mentorship with Chloe Caldwell was truly my greatest workshopping experience yet. As a professional copywriter, essay writing has become a passion project I do on the side for my own fun, and hadn't much considered publishing until Chloe gave me the confidence to pitch to my dream publication—and they took it! From her extensive and wildly helpful in-line edits to just chatting on the phone about my seemingly endless ideas, Chloe's mentorship has left me a better, more confident, and more inspired writer. Run! Don't! walk! to sign up for her next mentorship." -Emma T., former student

"The writing workshop I attended truly did exceed my expectations. Of course, the reasons for this are probably too verbose to name, but for me, all the useful you-can-use-these-tips-right-the-hell-now! information I learned that week is high on the list of reasons I would work with Chloe again. Not to mention the story of her path to teaching and writing. The information she shared on these topics has continued to influence the direction I plan to take my own writing and, hopefully, teaching career. And I think this is important to note because so many writers are intimidated by the vastness of this industry and the seeming, and not just seeming, let's face it, the very real feeling of trying in vain to gain access to the all but impenetrable machine that is the publishing industry and traditional teaching of writing. Chloe made her own path by elevating an organic and self-directed trajectory and approach to writing, publishing, and teaching and after working with her, I feel inspired and strongly about doing the same. I'll say, too, really there is no better indicator of an instructor's strength than one who engages with her students and fellow artists in a way that makes them feel both seen, heard, and maybe most importantly, understood. This was the general feeling I came away with after working with Chloe, and it's one I won't soon forget.”—Valerie Visnic

"Working with Chloe is like sitting down with a good friend that wants nothing but the best for you but will also give you honest, tactical advice on what to do next. She's always ready to meet you where you are and push you to where you want to go. The best part about Chloe as a teacher and mentor isn't that she has all the answers (no one does). It's that she always asks the right questions."—Polly Adams

"Chloe’s classes changed my life. She is so honest, thoughtful, and enthusiastic about her students and their work. She attracts smart, funny, open people to her classes. I’ve taken nearly a dozen workshops with her now and I consistently walk away feeling energized, inspired, and like I’ve known the people in the class for years. Chloe’s guidance, support, and genuine interest in her students gave me the courage to take my writing seriously. I’ve learned so much from her and can’t recommend her workshops highly enough." – Emily Smith, former student

"Chloe is a dreamy writing teacher. As an editor, she is precise and discerning, and she has a knack for mining insights from even the roughest of drafts. She’s also kind and compassionate, building our confidence to tell our stories. Her classes are engaging and generative: I have found new favorite writers from essays we read together, and started several new pieces from in-class prompts." —Jasmin Sandelson, former student

"Everything I know about good writing I know from Chloe. She helped me get published for the first time on Longreads. Her feedback is invaluable and elevated my writing to a whole new level. I’d be hard pressed to find someone with writing prompts and reading assignments as unique and powerful as hers. I always tell everyone, if you want to expand your writer’s brain, talk to Chloe." – Vanessa Golenia, former student

"I first became acquainted with Chloe through her writing, and was so excited to find that the combination of heart and discernment I love in Women and I’ll Tell You in Person also comes out in her teaching. Her edits are sharp and her ideas for opening a piece up are plentiful–she’s helped me gain a lot of confidence and drive when it comes to drafting, rewriting, and editing my own work." – Audrey Moyce, former student

Tuition Payment:

Full Tuition for the 12-month program is $7,200. You can pay the tuition in full or payment plans of varying installments are available upon acceptance to the course. Accepted writers must commit to the full year and meet all assigned deadlines.


Why not an MFA program?

This program combines the best things about an MFA program—community, mentorship, and intensive craft analysis—with specialized and practical publishing advice.

Why does this class cost so much?

The 12-month mentorship is an MFA-level course, taught by a published memoir/essayist who is also an experienced educator with years of creative writing teaching experience at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Your tuition helps pay your instructor a living wage, and covers the cost of booking guest speakers, arranging second readers, scheduling events, and administering the program.

Can I get a refund if I do not complete the program?

Once paid, your full tuition is nonrefundable. This is a selective program with limited spots. We are making a commitment to you for the full year and expect that you will do the same. For this reason, there are no refunds after your tuition has been paid.

I finished the mentorship When will I get published?

We can’t promise that every writer who leaves the 12-month essay generator will get published right away, or ever. Publishing is a tricky business, involving lots of luck and time—as students who enroll in this course will learn! That said, as publishers ourselves, we strongly believe that we can help prepare emerging essayists to better navigate the publishing industry, and that our program and the connections made here will increase your chances of success.

In the course description, there are mentions of meetings with guest speakers. I want the details right now! Why can’t I have them?

People who work in publishing are busy, and we confirm guest speakers on a rolling basis, as their schedules permit.

I barely have an idea for an essay collection. Is this class too advanced?

Maybe. How serious are you about the idea? If you just have an inkling, but you’re committed to coming in and focusing on that idea over the course of the year, this class might be the right fit for you. The key thing is that on the first day, you come ready to write. No one will write the pages of your collection for you, but this course can help you apply structure to your idea, and motivate you to finish the draft.

I have written several drafts of a collection, and I can’t seem to find an agent or figure out the next steps. Should I take this class?

Absolutely. Sometimes taking a collection to the next level requires cracking it open and figuring out how it works, and that process can be helped along by the insight of new readers. This class will give you a new perspective on your work and offer concrete next steps for you and your essay collection.

Additional Program Information:

  • Tuition is $7,200

  • No more than 8 writers will be accepted

  • Program Starts January 24th, 2023

  • The Mentorship is fully online and students may participate from anywhere.

  • NOTE: Shifting some dates around may be necessary but any changes will be communicated well in advance, if possible.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this program.

Click HERE to Apply.

Mentor Chloe Caldwell is the author of the essay collections I’LL TELL YOU IN PERSON and LEGS GET LED ASTRAY, as well as the critically acclaimed novella, WOMEN. Her memoir, THE RED ZONE: A LOVE STORY, published on April 19th, 2022 from Soft Skull. Chloe’s essays have appeared in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, New York Magazine’s The Cut, The Strategist, Buzzfeed, Longreads, Vice, Nylon,, Medium,The Rumpus, Catapult, Hobart, The Sun, Men’s Health, The Nervous Breakdown, and half a dozen anthologies including Goodbye To All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving NYC and Without A Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class. Her essay “Hungry Ghost” was listed as Notable in 2017 Best American Non Required Reading. Chloe lives in Hudson, NY.