Upcoming Classes and Workshops: 

Online Nonfiction Workshop: Building A Writing Career on the Internet (Catapult)

Dates: Sundays, December 2, 2018-January 20, 2019*
Time: 8-9pm EST
Fee: $449
 

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them,” Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Big Magic, her excellent book on creativity. This class will help you uncover those strange jewels. It’s easier than you might think to build a career for yourself as a writer. Essays are more relevant than ever, and many online publications are hungry for new content and fresh voices. Writers who build platforms for themselves on social media and the internet can catch the eyes of agents and editors. In this workshop, we will focus on finding your individual voice, crafting effective pitches, and being brave on the page. Michele’s students have been published by numerous publications, including TheAtlantic.com and Refinery29. (No live class meetings on 12/23 or 12/30.)

8-Week Creative Nonfiction II/III for the Sackett Street Writers' Workshop

Begins: Week of January 7, 2019
Day/Time: TBD, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Location: Park Slope
Fee: $595

Through group discussion of student work, plus that of published authors, writers in this workshop will examine the art and craft of creative nonfiction. The focus will be on learning to understand and use a full range of literary techniques in order to tell a truly compelling nonfiction story. Topics such as the use of dialogue, the creation of scene, attention to style and how to craft structure from true events will be discussed. Participants will also spend time talking about the particular responsibilities that come with writing creative nonfiction. This workshop is open to writers working on memoir, personal essays or in-depth journalism.

Giving Voice: Writing About Characters and Experiences in Your Everyday Life

Stanford Continuing Studies

Dates: January 14-March 22nd
Live Meetings via Zoom: Sundays at 4pm EST
Location: Online
Fee: $895


The novelist and memoirist Kate Christensen says that “the story of a life lives in what you would rather not admit or say.” Writing about your own experiences can be difficult. How will your family members respond? How can you make yourself vulnerable on the page? How can you capture a person you are close with in a way that is compelling, and turn them into a believable and multidimensional character? In this course, you will focus on how to tell the stories that live inside of you. You will learn how to mine your own life, transforming it into art through personal essays. We will read work by some of the masters of the form, like Lidia Yuknavitch, Garnette Cadogan, Jo Ann Beard, Roxane Gay, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and T Kira Madden. We will focus on structure, dialogue, and sensory details, among other important elements of the craft of essay writing. Students will also have a weekly writing prompt. All students will workshop two essays and finish the course with more self-assurance in their own unique voice. Jo Ann Beard says that when she’s writing, “It’s like walking on the bottom of the ocean, all these incredible creatures float past, neon and scary, so absorbing, but the surface is always calling.” In this course, you will learn how to avoid the siren call of the surface in order to explore the deeper waters connected to your truths.

Testimonials: 

"Anyone hoping to publish online, or anywhere for that matter, needs a guide like Ms. Filgate, who has brilliantly negotiated the wild eddies of the digital world to create for herself a distinct and winning identity as a writer."—Erik Larson, bestselling author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City

“Over years of knowing Michele and reading her work, I’ve watched her guide countless other voices into the public sphere with professionalism and care. Her enthusiasm for new writing and publishing is rare and inspiring.” —Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star

"Michele is a gifted writer, of course, and a good teacher (gratefully) but above all, she's an amazing motivator. She believes in her students and helped my cohort build upon the best qualities of their writing. I've received paid opportunities from essays I've workshopped with Michele and I look forward to taking classes with her again!"—Bradford Davis, former student
 
“Michele gives such precise and inspired notes on work you’ll think she slipped into your head. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of writers (you’ll likely end up with a delicious stack on your nightstand to keep the well full). She’s gracious, kind, funny, and genuinely cares about her students. I was hesitant to spend the money for her class but it was worth every penny.” –AJ Heekin, former student
 
“Michele is uniquely talented at guiding writers of all levels and stages of the game into expanding the way they look at their work and develop it towards a goal. She has a brilliant knack for identifying what’s working — and what’s not — within a piece, and guiding students to shape an arc, a character, and a story. I would take a class with her again in a heartbeat.” —Elizabeth Kiefer, former student and staff writer at Refinery29
 
“Michele is a fantastic mentor who shows patience, humility, and generosity to her students. She’s an enthusiastic champion for all of those ‘am I really a writer?’ writers out there. You’ll leave her class with confidence in your ability and gain many opportunities to get to those necessary next steps in your writing life.” —Donna Tallent, former student
 
“Michele is the calm soothing voice you want next to you as you burrow into your writing. There is a sensitivity and attentiveness in her critiques- two important qualities that ultimately lead you to finding your way out of the labyrinthine writing process.” —Maria Lam, former student
 
“Michele Filgate, with grace and power, and without a shred of fear, excavates her own life, and our popular culture, to emerge with some hard, beautiful truths about being human.” —Laura Bogart, contributor to Dame and Salon
 
“Michele is the kind of woman you meet and think, ‘Wow. She really loves what she does.’ Her passion for writing and teaching writing pervades all aspects of her class. She enthusiastically challenges her students to stop censoring themselves and to explore their writing on a deeper level–the kind of challenging personal writing that means the most in the grand scheme of life. All of us in class were able to share a piece of our individual experiences through writing that we had never shared before.”—Cici Harrison, former student