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Writing Memoir & Personal Essay for Publication 8-Week Online Workshop, Starts Monday, June 19th, 2023
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Writing Memoir & Personal Essay for Publication 8-Week Online Workshop, Starts Monday, June 19th, 2023

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Class Starts Monday, June 19th, 2023

Now Enrolling!

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

Taught by James Tate Hill, contributing editor for Lit Hub and author of the memoir Blind Man's Bluff (W.W. Norton, 2021), which includes his essay from Prairie Schooner listed among the Notables in Best American Essays 2020.

The only rule of creative nonfiction is that it must be true, but how do we shape truth into a compelling read? Which parts of the story do we leave out? How do we create a through-line from something as big as a life?

By examining the myriad questions faced by writers of nonfiction, this course will help you elevate your own stories, obsessions, and struggles into a cohesive manuscript.

Led by Literary Hub contributing editor and Best American Essays 2020 notable essayist James Tate Hill, each week the class will discuss assigned readings by Mary Karr, Phillip Lopate, and a variety of contemporary authors, focusing on the choices made in crafting experience into art.

Class participants will turn in their own writing on two occasions, personal essays or memoir excerpts, and receive feedback from the instructor and fellow classmates. Due to sometimes sensitive subject matter, the tone of workshop discussions will be respectful and open minded.

No prior creative nonfiction study or workshop experience is required.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate and The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr.


  • Discover and develop the basic building blocks of compelling nonfiction
  • Experiment with new techniques to stretch creative skills and voice
  • Receive peer and instructor feedback on two short works


I took the online nonfiction class with James Tate Hill and I highly recommend it. It allowed me to savor in full the precision and mystery of writing essays. He is an exquisite mentor. The first story I submitted and revised in workshop has already been accepted by a Literary Magazine. I am thrilled I took this class.” -Alan B.

"The readings and JT's critiques were perfect. He is absolutely fantastic and the entire class has set the bar very high for a remote writing experience. JT was incredibly responsive and had so much to offer." -Cathy F.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the 8-week class Essays/Memoir class I took from Writing Workshops in 2020. J.T. Hill, the instructor, set a generous tone and gave us interesting and varied reading assignments. The detailed critiques from him (and the other students) on my two manuscripts were worth the price of the workshop. I was able to revise and submit one of the essays to a different, competitive workshop, and I won a spot. I will definitely be taking more classes from Writing Workshops." -Dena D.

"James Tate Hill's 8-week online Writing Memoir and Personal Essay class was top-notch. His carefully-chosen and varied readings both inspired me to approach my own writing in a new way, and pushed me to go deeper, explore symbolism and find overarching themes--something I hadn't really done since grad school so many years ago. The participants had a wide range of writing abilities and life experiences, and yet J.T. expertly tailored his critiques to each of us, giving detailed, perceptive and constructive feedback to all of our submissions and comments. He also gave us practical and valuable information regarding submission and publication. I will likely be referring to the notes from this class for the rest of my writing career. J.T. and Writing Workshops provided us with a semester's worth (or more) of information, at a fraction of the price." -Susanna P.

"I want to thank everyone for such a great experience. This is my first Writing Workshops class, and I'm definitely going to take more this year. I learned a lot from all of the interaction and feedback. I loved reading everyone's work. J.T., you are a great teacher - thank you. Looking forward to more of your instruction!" -Katherine L.

"This was a GREAT class. One reason: JT. The other: the quality of writing talent in this class. Some amazing pieces were presented. JT's critiques and comments were excellent. I am looking forward to the fiction workshop I am taking next with JT!" -Ben U.

Watch James Tate Hill and his agent and fellow author Eric Smith discuss JT's debut memoir, Blind Man’s Bluff (W. W. Norton, 2021). In addition to the book’s themes of disability and self-acceptance, the two talked candidly about the writing process, the road to publication, and the author-agent relationship. This event concluded with an audience Q&A. Watch now:

You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.


This class is entirely asynchronous which means you complete the weekly assignments on your own schedule. There are no set meeting times in order to allow for greater participation; your cohort will consist of writers from across different time zones, which allows for a wonderful diversity of voices.

Along with your weekly deadlines there is plenty of interaction with JT and your peers within Wet Ink, our dedicated online classroom. Craft materials, lectures, reading assignments, and writing prompts are all available through the online classroom. Students also post work and provide and receive feedback within the online classroom environment.

You can get the work done as you see fit week-to-week, so it is perfect for any schedule. There are discussion questions each week inspired by the assigned readings and topics in the lecture notes. Students are encouraged to take these wherever is most compelling and/or useful for them. JT engages with these discussions throughout the week and you will receive feedback from all assigned writing activities.


Wet Ink was built and designed specifically for online writing classes. Wet Ink is private, easy to use, and very interactive. You can learn more about the Wet Ink platform by Watching a Class Demo.

  • Instructor: James Tate Hill

  • Class size limited to 10 writers

  • Class starts Monday, June 19th, 2023

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

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

Instructor James Tate Hill is the author of the memoir Blind Man's Bluff (W.W. Norton, 2021) and Academy Gothic (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2015), winner of the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel. His fiction and essays have appeared in Literary Hub, Prairie Schooner, Hobart, Story Quarterly, and Waxwing, among others. Best American Essays 2019 listed "Do Audiobooks Count As Reading?" from Literary Hub as a Notable Essay. He's the fiction editor for the literary journal Monkeybicycle and a contributing editor for Literary Hub, where he writes a monthly audiobooks column. Born in Charleston, West Virginia, he's a graduate of the writing programs at Hollins University and the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He lives in North Carolina with his wife.