Joan Didion famously said that she didn’t know what she was thinking until she wrote it down.
In this single-session workshop, we’ll look at sections of two of her essays and two memoirs to unpack what made her cool, unsentimental voice on the page so impactful. What craft elements did she employ? We’ll look at her language choices, pacing and structure and discuss how these helped leave her distinctive imprint in words.
About Ellen Blum Barish
Ellen Blum Barish is author of the essay collection, Views from the Home Office Window, and just completed a memoir now being represented by an agent. She is the editor of Thread: A Literary Publication, which earned two notables in Best American Essays and Stitch, a monthly publication of 100-word essays. Her essays and personal stories have been published in The Chicago Tribune, Tablet, Brevity’s Blog, Full Grown People, Literary Mama, aired on WBEZ Public Radio and have been told at numerous Chicago storytelling events. She teaches writing at Northwestern University where she received a master’s in journalism. Ellen works privately with individuals on a variety of writing projects through her workshops and coaching and was awarded the 2018 Award for Individual Artistic Excellence by the Skokie Arts Commission. For more about Ellen, go to www.ellenblumbarish.com.
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