Zoom Only! Please see handout in advance of class.
If you can't tell it in 500 words, is it worth telling at all? In this talk, we will discuss the challenge of condensing worlds of thought, emotion, and observation into tight packages of prose. We'll explore samples from masters of the form, learn some new strategies, and consider the art of concision as it applies to our own work. Writers will leave the session with a bank of examples from a diverse selection of nonfiction writers, plus a few of their own postcards to use as stand-alone pieces or seeds for a larger nonfiction project.
Micah Fields has published essays and photography for the Oxford American, Gulf Coast, The Baffler, Columbia Journalism Review, Sonora Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, War, Literature & the Arts, and elsewhere. He holds a BA from the University of Montana and an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa. He received the Oxford American’s 2018-19 Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship, an Iowa Arts Fellowship, and the AWP Intro Journals Award in nonfiction. He served as a Marine Corps infantry rifleman from 2007 to 2011 and is a combat veteran of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now lives in Helena, Montana, where he writes, teaches, and works as a fly-fishing and hunting guide. His book about Houston and its story of development and storms is forthcoming from W. W. Norton. You can learn more about Micah at his website: https://www.micahfields.com
You can also read one of his most powerful short pieces:
Micah will accept manuscripts for critique up to 20 pages, and will accept multiple pieces combined up until that 20 page limit. Please see the manuscript section on our OCWW website for further details.
We offer free student memberships at a discounted rate of $5.00 per session. You must send verification of your student status. Please contact Claudia Katz at email@example.com for details.