Some of today's most evocative and popular essays are those that combine the personal and the reported. These are pieces of writing that illuminate human experience while also probing the larger societal context in which those experiences take place, from #MeToo to gun violence, forest fires, racial injustice, student loan debt, body image, and on and on.
In this one-day workshop, we will explore the power and craft of the reported essay, addressing how to combine the personal lived experience with the larger story, how to make a reporting plan, how to bring numbers and facts into literary prose, and how to make observational research come alive on the page. Each student will come away from the class with either a workshopped piece or a detailed reporting plan, as well as a plan for pitching and/or submitting their story for publication.
Lauren Markham is writer and educator based in Berkeley who writes fiction, essays, and literary journalism. Her book, The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, was published by Crown in 2017, and was the winner of the Ridenhour Prize, the Northern California Book Award, silver medal winner of the California Book Award, shortlisted for a Lukas Award and the L.A. Times Book Prize, and longlisted for a Pen America Award.
Lauren's essays and reportage have appeared in outlets such as Harper’s, Guernica, the New York Times, The Guardian, The New Republic, Orion, and Virginia Quarterly Review, where she is a contributing editor. She has published fiction in Narrative, The American Literary Review, and Drunken Boat. In addition teaching at Left Margin LIT, she also teaches in the MFA in writing programs at Ashland University and the University of San Francisco.
More about Lauren: www.laurenmarkham.info/about/