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Creative Nonfiction with Sophfronia Scott

Glen 2024 faculty member Sophfronia Scott

You have some thoughts on your mind. They could become an essay. You can probably tell someone all about it because, after all, these are your opinions/memories/reflections/concerns. The only thing you can’t do? Write it. You just don’t know how to begin.

You start here: Author and instructor Sophfronia Scott will provide gentle guidance to help you transfer thoughts to the page and then shape them into a form you can continue to work with. You’ll discover your unique voice, develop an understanding of the building blocks of good essay writing, and take away craft elements you can use to write with more precision. You’ll also have the confidence to repeat the process with future ideas because, and this is the best of all, you’ll keep writing.

Each Day
The class will read and discuss published essays and use writing prompts to generate material and practice craft techniques. Students will also submit writing in advance that will be workshopped during the week.

There will be essays to read in advance of the class, provided via email.

Writing tools—computer, tablet, paper and pen, whatever participants feel most comfortable using.

Experience Level
This class is for writers interested in writing nonfiction in the form of essay. These can be opinion pieces, memoir, journalistic, etc.

About the Instructor

Sophfronia Scott is a novelist, essayist, and leading contemplative thinker whose work has received a 2020 Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Her book The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton won the 2021 Thomas Merton “Louie” Award from the International Thomas Merton Society. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sophfronia began her career as an award-winning magazine journalist for Time, where she co-authored the groundbreaking cover story “Twentysomething,” the first study identifying the demographic group known as Generation X, and People. When her first novel, All I Need to Get By, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2004, Sophfronia was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards and hailed by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as “potentially one of the best writers of her generation.”

Her latest book is Wild, Beautiful, and Free, a historical novel set during the Civil War. Sophfronia’s other books include Unforgivable Love, Love’s Long Line, Doing Business By the Book, and This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-written with her son Tain. Her essays, short stories, and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Yankee Magazine, the Christian Century,North American Review,, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her essays “Hope On Any Given Day,” “The Legs On Which I Move,” and “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse” are listed among the Notables in the Best American Essays series.

Sophfronia has taught at Regis University’s Mile High MFA and Bay Path University’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction. She is currently the director of Alma College’s MFA in creative writing, a low-residency graduate program based in Alma, Michigan.

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