Course Catalog

A Field Researcher’s Guide to Authoritative Storytelling

We will learn to infuse narrative with lyric accuracy through careful study of the world around us. Guided by fiction and nonfiction authors who take deep dives into their subjects, we will produce new writing and workshop at least one piece from each participant. Readings will include Joan Didion, Karen Tei Yamashita, Richard Flanagan, Annie Dillard, and Eula Biss. Remember: research carries a story like water beneath a boat. Keep it moving to stay afloat.


Reading & Workshop Schedule

Week One: “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream” by Joan Didion.

Week Two: I Hotel (excerpt) by Karen Tei Yamashita. Workshop begins.

Week Three: For the Time Being (excerpt) by Annie Dillard. Workshop 2.

Week Four: The Faraway Nearby (excerpt) by Rebecca Solnit. Workshop 3.

Week Five: On Immunity: An Innoculation (excerpt) by Eula Biss. Workshop 4.

Week Six: “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” by John Branch. Workshop 5.

Week Seven: The Narrow Road to the Deep North (excerpt) by Richard Flanagan. Workshop 6.

Week Eight: Crave Radiance (excerpt) by Elizabeth Alexander. Workshop 7.

Week Nine: Read your own piece again with a fresh eye. Workshop 8.

Week Ten: Wrap-Up.

Instructor: Kristen Millares Young

Class Type: 10 Sessions

, , ,

Start Date: 01/14/2016

End Date: 03/17/2016

Days of the Week: Thursday

Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 12

$342.00 Member Price:
Become a member >

$380.00 General Price:

Class has begun, registration is closed.

Kristen Millares Young

Kristen Millares Young is a writer and journalist whose work has been featured by the Guardian, The New York Times, KUOW 94.9-FM, Hobart, City Arts Magazine, Pacifica Literary Review, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Miami Herald, TIME Magazine and the Buenos Aires Herald. As researcher, Kristen was the only non-staffer on the NYT team that produced “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” which won a Pulitzer and a Peabody. Hailed by the Stranger as one of the “fresh new faces in Seattle fiction,” she was a 2014 Jack Straw Writing Fellow. Kristen graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts from the History and Literature Department, and from the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Washington, where she studied and taught writing. She is a co-founder and board chair of InvestigateWest, a nonprofit journalism center in the northwest. @kristenmillares

Teaching philosophy: What do powerful writers know? They know that personal experience – each human being’s subjective perception of the world – is the single largest factor for determining how that person views the world. What do powerful writers do? They take their lived experience and, using both recollection and imagination, transform it into words that compel others to feel what the author has found and portrayed. What do powerful writers discover through careful examination of their work? They learn that their characters and plots often reach for epiphanies unfounded by the scenes provided in their narratives. That recognition compels writers to seek revelations from other sources, whether readings or workshop commentary, and to revise their work, again and again. In revision awaits transformation. Why does writing matter? Writing teaches us to understand the world around us. In turn, it helps us to be understood by others. There can be no greater hope.

Writers I return to: Come to my class. We’ll get into all of that and more. Or you can take the easy way out and check out my instagram @theyoungbolt, but I’ve only been posting book covers for a few months now.

Favorite writing advice: Ass in chair.

See current classes >