Experimental Creative Nonfiction

with Montse Carty

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Course Description

Prose Poem, Photo Essay, Flash Creative Nonfiction, Lyric Essay, and Braided Storylines — what do these new literary forms mean and how can we use them to tell stories from our own experience?

In this online workshop we first learn the ground rules for traditional creative nonfiction (ie. memoir and the personal essay), then we move on to discover fun ways to break these “rules.” We look at how to play with point of view (ie. the “you” as the disguised “I”), Borrowed Forms (the Hermit Crab Essay), Braided Essays, Flash Creative Nonfiction, and more.

Each class session begins with a short lecture from Montse, followed by a discussion of an experimental creative nonfiction piece. We look closely at what the writer is doing well and what we can learn from it. Finally, a prompt is given to help generate new work using these innovative forms.

Over the course of our time together, we read and discuss pieces by Brenda Miller, Eula Biss, Naomi Shihab Nye, Daisy Hernandez, Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, Randon Billings Noble, Beth Ann Fennelly, Ira Sukrungruang, and others.

Jump into the middle on the recent eruption of interest in creative nonfiction by joining Montse and other writers to push the traditional boundaries of the genre.

Additional Information

Amateurs, Advanced Amateurs, Professionals

This program is open to anyone who wants to engage in a creative writing workshop.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.

Writers Lab
© Montse Carty
Montse Carty

Montserrat (Montse) Carty is a writer, photographer, and podcaster. For over a decade, Montse worked in various areas of the music industry: artist relations, programming, and global marketing for music companies including Sony Music Entertainment, Pandora Media, and a few non-profits (such as the San Francisco Symphony, Boston Ballet). More recently, Montse worked for Goodreads running the author program where she worked with and interviewed writers for the Goodreads blog.

She received a B.M. from Berklee College of Music, M.S. from Boston University and is currently a MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction.

In addition to writing, teaching and making photos, Montse hosts and creates her podcast “Musings of the Artist” where she interviews writers, photographers and musicians including On Being’s Krista Tippett, Pico Iyer, Naomi Shihab Nye, Cig Harvey, and many others.

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