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A Day for Writers: The 38th Annual Steamboat Writers Conference

The “I” Of the Storm: The Nonfiction Narrator’s Role

Noted essayist and academic Phillip Lopate writes, “Nonfiction writing thrives on daring, darting, subjective flights of thought.” What, after all, is a story without the storyteller? A good narrator is a guide, friend, confessor, provocateur. The narrator shapes the story, sets the tone, decides the details, and most important, determines the meaning of a piece. In this half-day workshop, we’ll explore what it means to tell a nonfiction story. Our topics will include the narrator’s mind (and voice) as it relates to memoir, essay, and other nonfiction forms. Among the topics we’ll consider are narrative perspective and distance, the critical job of making meaning of one’s subject, and what I hope are fresh ways of envisioning the narrator’s role. 

You’ll receive brief readings in advance of our workshop. Please bring print-outs or electronic copies of those readings, along with your favorite writing device, to our workshop. Our time together will include some lecture, discussion, writing, and sharing.