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We are pleased to present an Image Intensive workshop with Emily Bernard!

Writing the Self through Others:
The Ethics of First-Person Narrative

Creative Nonfiction with Emily Bernard


A four-week craft workshop on creative nonfiction
March 5-March 29

Tuesdays & Fridays, 3 to 4:30 PM Eastern

We are pleased to announce another Image Intensive, an opportunity to dive deeper into your craft, guided by faculty from our community who understand the unique impulses and challenges facing artists at the intersection of art and faith.

What do your friends and family think about your writing? Is it possible to write about people you care about without offending or hurting them? How can I tell the stories I need to tell without sacrificing my relationships? This workshop is designed to give creative nonfiction writers of all levels a chance to compose their own positions on these questions. As writers of first-person narrative, we must be certain of our project, and that includes its ethical dimensions.

Week One: The performative “I”. Focusing on the distinction between ourselves and the selves we compose on the page for dramatic effect.

Week Two: Confronting our fears, defending our lives. Facing down worst-case scenarios by writing in response to prompts that enable us to address the people, or institutions, whose approval we imagine we need in order to write our truths. This week we practice explaining ourselves on own terms.

Week Three: Dreadful encounters. Reassessing a hard life moment—a dreadful encounter—real or imagined, past, present, or future. What was the life lesson learned?

Week Four: Life beyond myth. How does one’s sense of self begin to shift in the wake of a new life? Writing about what it means to “live past the end of your myth” by recounting what occurred after a personal disappointment—even a catastrophe.

This workshop will include:

  • Generative writing exercises and opportunities to share work with a group of talented
  • Robust discussions about how to identify and resolve common writing challenges and
  • Individual manuscript critique by workshop instructor


In a small group setting capped at 8 students, participants will experience:

  • Two Zoom sessions each week for four weeks; workshop capped at eight students
  • Opportunities to enjoy the wisdom and advice on the writing life culled from a wide range of successful artists
  • A wide range of prompts designed to inspire students to push themselves past their fears and to new summits in their writing
  • Individual manuscript review (3,000 word maximum) by Emily Bernard


This workshop is for writers of all levels who wish to explore the wonder, doubt, darkness, and beauty that shape us. If you are yearning for a compassionate writing community, seeking to learn more about yourself, hoping for a thorough review of your work, or wishing for a supportive place to grow in your craft, this workshop is for you.


This four-week seminar will be held on Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays from August 29-September 21.

About the Instructor

photo courtesy of Emily Bernard

About Emily Bernard

A 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, Emily Bernard is the author of Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine, winner of the 2019 LA Times Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, and Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance: A Portrait in Black in White, published in 2012 by Yale University Press.

About the Image Intensives

The Image Intensive series is aimed at fostering the growth of artists working at the intersection of art and faith. The Image Intensives offer an opportunity to dive deeper into your craft, guided by faculty from our community who understand the unique impulses and challenges facing artists at the intersection of art and faith.


For additional questions, please email Ryan Pemberton, Image's director of community cultivation, at  

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