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Instructor: Carla Kaplan
August 27 - 31
Monday - Friday
2 - 5pm
5 Sessions

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What makes someone else’s life interesting? What makes successful biographies and memoirs work? Readings, class exercises, and workshop discussions will examine our writing from the perspective of what encourages readers to invest in the stories that interest us. We will look at components such as context and characterization, chronology and suspense, voice and authority and we will also discuss book proposals and the publication process. 

Carla Kaplan has published two New York Times Notable biographies, as well five other books, and dozens of non-fiction essays.  She has taught writing for 30 years, founded an arts & humanities center at Northeastern University (where she holds the Davis Distinguished Professorship of American Literature), a symposium on The Future of Life Story, and been a resident fellow at numerous centers, including the Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers of the New York Public Library.  The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and, most recently, a “Public Scholar” fellowship from the NEH, Kaplan’s non-fiction is noted for bringing rich scholarship to broad audiences. Her cultural biography of muckraking activist, and former British aristocrat, Jessica Mitford is forthcoming from HarperCollins. She lives in Wellfleet, Eastham, and Jamaica Plain.