8-Week Memoir & Fiction: Exploring Voice & Vision in Different Genres

Class Begins Tuesday, January 15, 2019


$495 New Student | $470 Returning

All stories, fiction or nonfiction, grapple with the interplay of truth and imagination. Writers strive to manifest a voice that will compel a reader’s trust but also empower their vision and drive to discover new, unanticipated meanings and possibilities in their narratives. The late Tom Wolfe, both journalist and novelist, described his hybrid work in these terms: “It’s not just that reporting gives you a bigger slice of life—lends verisimilitude to what you are doing—it’s that it feeds the imagination.”

In this spirit, we'll explore fiction and memoir as platforms from which to tell our stories. What genre might offer perspectives, form, and techniques to best realize your intentions? Or does one best suit the particular story you want to tell? You’ll have the opportunity to treat the same story in different genres, or maybe you have different ideas to pursue in both fiction and memoir. To guide our inquiry, we’ll consider the formal and expressive qualities of each genre through published short stories and creative nonfiction, along with essays on craft. The aim of this class is not to choose one genre over the other as the “right” one for you. Rather, we’ll approach our inquiry in the spirit of experimentation, guided by the questions: What domain summons your most authentic voice and ignites your most vital and powerful writing? How will you use your imagination to gain a deeper connection with your narrative and characters—whether they’re people you’ve known in life or are discovering on the page?

Each writer will have two opportunities to have his or her work critiqued during class and will receive written feedback from the instructor and classmates.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy The Half-Known World, by Robert Boswell, and You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, by Lee Gutkind.

  • Class size limited to 8 writers

  • Meets Tuesday 6:30PM to 8:30PM / January 15, 2019 to March 5, 2019

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.


Instructor Eden Elieff is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, a teacher, and private writing coach. She has published work in literary journals, the Dallas Morning News, and also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Student Testimonials

“There are lots of good writing teachers; Eden Elieff is one of the great ones. She’s not just a published writer & extremely knowledgeable about the entire field.  She’s also a great instructor. She focuses on supporting you & your writing goals and makes you do the work. From provoking you to counseling you to giving you actionable ideas, Eden will help you get to where you should go. Whatever writing subject she teaches - take her course!”

“I would highly recommend taking Eden Elieff’s 8-Week Fiction workshop. She promotes and encourages thinking, reading and writing to higher levels.”

"Yesterday filled me with joy. What was I doing? I was in Eden Elieff's Fiction or Memoir Class. Her energy and enthusiasm were contagious. Her materials (excerpts from esteemed texts, both memoir and fiction) were eye-opening. Her writing exercises were invigorating. The entire three hours transported me back to my beloved MFA days and reminded me of why I am a writer. (Bonus: She has her MFA from Bennington!) Through the examination of the passages, I was able to further paw my way out of my pile of confusion over what I am writing and I feel I am closer now to what I must pursue: an autobiographical novel, which I had no idea existed. Or rather, was classified as such. I highly HIGHLY recommend her as a teacher. I look forward to more classes with Eden!"

“Eden's teaching has quickly turned my decades of writing insecurity into a deep well of creative confidence. Her engaging class guides both the novice and experienced writer through highly acclaimed written works meant to enhance and broaden their own writing throughout her courses. Reading, writing and critiquing is enlightening and creatively freeing. Thanks, Eden. Your Writing Workshops Dallas classes have had a great influence on my writing!”

“Eden loves teaching, loves preparing for class (she makes LOTS of handouts), loves discussing what makes good writing, and is simply 'doing what she loves best' with her students. The textbooks for both of the Memoir/Fiction classes that I took were excellent, giving examples of both memoir and short stories, as well as defining the unique characteristic of each genre and where they overlap. Eden's handouts were writings by authors she admires and often personally knows, allowing her to explain why or how these authors chose to write in one genre or another, and how/why they may have decided what to include and what to leave out. Occasionally some students didn't like the stories or the characters within, and Eden always replied, "If you want to learn to write, your job is to become a better reader: expose yourself to writings you'd not normally choose, and examine the styles and details that make the characters likeable or not, so that you'll learn how to do it yourself!" Five of us students took Eden's first Fiction/Memoir class this summer, desperate to tell our stories, whether to analyze them, to preserve our memories, or to re-create the lives we've lived. We made progress, but when the 8-week class was over, we decided it wasn't time to quit yet. So all of us signed up again, wanting to continue with the camaraderie and trust Eden's classes provided. The second 8-weeks were worth it! We became ever more confident, our writing was growing alive with detail, and we understood at last what those readings were all about! Eden always made sure that the discussion of each student's manuscript was aimed at clarifying what we thought worked well, what we felt the 'aim' of the writing was, whether this aim was achieved, and then how to better achieve it. And, by the end of the 2nd eight weeks, it was great fun to see the employment of all the tools Eden had taught us and the amazing improvement in each other's writings and in our own.”