Flash Memoir: Explore This Unforgettable Year

with Gina Rae La Cerva

Course Description

The literary micro-genre known as flash memoir provides an opportunity to practice craft on a manageable scale. It helps us to enliven our senses and emotions, identify moments of insight, and expertly magnify the small aspects of what it means to be human.

Using an experience from the year 2021 as a starting point, participants create a short personal narrative to find clarity and understanding. By capturing a moment from this troubling year in 3,000 words or less, we illuminate a deeper story of truth. This slice of life then becomes the lens through which we make sense of our current period of uncertainty.

How has the upheaval of 2021 made you reevaluate your past? How have you grown and changed from your experience? We examine what we have learned about patience, flexibility, transition, and surprise during these extraordinary times, and then apply those same principles to our writing. For extra support, Gina Rae engages in a 30-minute, one-on-one session with each participant.

Whether you want to turn some of your journal entries into essays or write a longer memoir, you tackle a potentially overwhelming topic by starting small. This class is also particularly well-suited to photographers who want to include personal writing in their photo books. As you construct a short memoir essay, you reinvigorate your creativity while processing what it means to live through this historic moment.

Additional Information


This program is open to everyone, writers and photographers, at all levels.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

Writers Lab
Gina Rae La Cerva

Gina Rae La Cerva is an award-winning writer, geographer, and environmental anthropologist originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has researched tsunamis in Indonesia, crossed the Pacific Ocean on a sailboat, and traced the wild meat trade from the forests of the Congo Basin to the streets of Paris. Her first book, Feasting Wild: In Search of the Last Untamed Food, was recommended by the The New York Times and named an Amazon Best Book of the Year for 2020. Her personal essays have appeared in Emergence Magazine, THE Magazine, Sage Magazine, and various compilations. Gina Rae holds degrees from Yale University, the University of Cambridge, and Vassar College.


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