Fiction, Nonfiction

  • Term: Summer 2023
  • Start Date: July 8, 2023
  • End Date: July 8, 2023
  • Day of Week: Saturday
  • Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm PT
  • Level: Intermediate, Introductory
  • Audience: Adult
  • Location: Online
  • Availability: Yes
  • Public Price: $90.00
  • Member Price: $81.00

Learn About Scholarships

Balancing Humor and Pathos in Prose Writing

Finding an equilibrium between the amusing and the emotional can make (or break) the first-person narrative. This one-day class will discuss how writers like Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, and others walk this tightrope to create rapport with readers. Through analysis of texts, discussion, and writing exercises, students will leave with a better understanding of the topic and either newly generated paragraphs or a revised short excerpt that finds the sweet spot between humor and sadness.

Registration dates:

June 5: Scholarship Donation Day (Learn more.)

June 6: Member registration opens

June 13: General registration opens

Beth Slattery

Beth Slattery


Beth Slattery moved to Seattle after eighteen years of teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana University East. Since her relocation, she has been writing and editing. Beth is currently working on a collection of personal essays about her mid-life marriage to a Zimbabwean, a move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and a reluctant acceptance of the call to adventure. Her most recent publications appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and Southern Women’s Review. Beth’s recent editing work includes being a “beta” reader for an author with a multi-book publishing contract, content and copy editing of a personal essay collection, and providing comprehensive editing services on an edited academic volume that was later published by Oxford University Press. She has an M.A. in fiction writing from Miami University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine—Stonecoast.