12 Months To A Full Memoir: A Generative Workshop with Chloe Caldwell
First Page To Final Page: Write Your Memoir In A Year
Tuesdays 6:00—8:30pm ET
The thing that’s missing from writing a book in solitude is accountability and community. In this year-long course (with breaks), students will be able to find the support and encouragement they need to make it from that first page to the last. A
In this 12-month First Book Generator Workshop, writers will complete a full manuscript while working alongside their peers and receiving feedback and guidance from Chloe. The course will be split into three sections:
1. Readings, lectures, exercises, and guest speakers (20 sessions: January 24th — June 6th 2023)
The first section of the course will consist of craft lectures and readings of first memoirs by writers such as Michelle Tea, Samantha Irby, and more TBA. This part will focus on how established writers launched their careers. Guest authors like Isaac Fitzgerald and Chelsea Martin will join the class to talk about their work Throughout this section, writers will also complete craft exercises intended to aid in their memoir writing process. Writers will have an opportunity to share new passages–should they wish–every time the class meets. Each student will have two individual meetings with Chloe.
2. Peer Workshops (10 sessions: September 5th —November 7th, 2023)
During the workshop phase, each student will receive two peer workshops of their manuscript using the Critical Response Process and will meet with the instructor individually twice to discuss their work-in-progress.
3. The Literary World (5 sessions: November 21 — December 19th) Marketplace and submitting (December 5th — January 23rd, 2024)
The final two months of the course will be devoted to professionalization. Agents, editors, and published authors will join the class to talk about their experiences in the literary world. This will be an opportunity for writers to speak openly about their expectations and aims for their careers with established literary professionals. Each student will meet once more with Chloe to create concrete goals and recommendations tailored uniquely for them.
While this course cannot guarantee publication of your manuscript, all writers should leave the course with a completed first novel draft and a greater understanding of how to build a literary career.
What you will receive:
- 120 hours of instruction
- Access to ask questions to guest authors, editors, and agents
- Peer and Instructor feedback
- Five 45 minute 1:1 sessions with Chloe
- Writing tools which will last a lifetime
- Exercises and readings
- New friends and community
- A sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with finishing a book
Learn more and apply now!
“I have studied twice with Chloe, and both times I have come away inspired, energized, and empowered with tools to do my best writing and get my work out into the world. She has a knack for organizing knowledge and presenting it in a structured way, while also guiding writers to tap into the deep well of their truth and write from that place. Studying with Chloe will make you a better writer and a better advocate for your own work.” —Emily Neves
"My mentorship with Chloe Caldwell was truly my greatest workshopping experience yet. As a professional copywriter, essay writing has become a passion project I do on the side for my own fun, and hadn't much considered publishing until Chloe gave me the confidence to pitch to my dream publication—and they took it! From her extensive and wildly helpful in-line edits to just chatting on the phone about my seemingly endless ideas, Chloe's mentorship has left me a better, more confident, and more inspired writer. Run! Don't! walk! to sign up for her next mentorship." -Emma T., former student
"The writing workshop I attended truly did exceed my expectations. Of course the reasons for this are probably too verbose to name, but for me, all the useful you-can-use-these-tips-right-the-hell-now! information I learned that week is high on the list of reasons I would work with Chloe again. Not to mention the story of her path to teaching and writing. The information she shared on these topics has continued to influence the direction I plan to take my own writing and, hopefully, teaching career. And I think this is important to note because so many writers are intimidated by the vastness of this industry and the seeming, and not just seeming, let's face it, the very real feeling of trying in vain to gain access to the all but impenetrable machine that is the publishing industry and traditional teaching of writing. Chloe made her own path by elevating an organic and self-directed trajectory and approach to writing, publishing, and teaching and after working with her, I feel inspired and strongly about doing the same. I'll say, too, really there is no better indicator of an instructor's strength than one who engages with her students and fellow artists in a way that makes them feel both seen, heard, and maybe most importantly, understood. This was the general feeling I came away with after working with Chloe, and it's one I won't soon forget.”—Valerie Visnic
"Working with Chloe is like sitting down with a good friend that wants nothing but the best for you but will also give you honest, tactical advice on what to do next. She's always ready to meet you where you are and push you to where you want to go. The best part about Chloe as a teacher and mentor isn't that she has all the answers (no one does). It's that she always asks the right questions."—Polly Adams
"Chloe’s classes changed my life. She is so honest, thoughtful, and enthusiastic about her students and their work. She attracts smart, funny, open people to her classes. I’ve taken nearly a dozen workshops with her now and I consistently walk away feeling energized, inspired, and like I’ve known the people in the class for years. Chloe’s guidance, support, and genuine interest in her students gave me the courage to take my writing seriously. I’ve learned so much from her and can’t recommend her workshops highly enough." – Emily Smith, former student
"Chloe is a dreamy writing teacher. As an editor, she is precise and discerning, and she has a knack for mining insights from even the roughest of drafts. She’s also kind and compassionate, building our confidence to tell our stories. Her classes are engaging and generative: I have found new favorite writers from essays we read together, and started several new pieces from in-class prompts." —Jasmin Sandelson, former student
"Everything I know about good writing I know from Chloe. She helped me get published for the first time on Longreads. Her feedback is invaluable and elevated my writing to a whole new level. I’d be hard pressed to find someone with writing prompts and reading assignments as unique and powerful as hers. I always tell everyone, if you want to expand your writer’s brain, talk to Chloe." – Vanessa Golenia, former student
"I first became acquainted with Chloe through her writing, and was so excited to find that the combination of heart and discernment I love in Women and I’ll Tell You in Person also comes out in her teaching. Her edits are sharp and her ideas for opening a piece up are plentiful–she’s helped me gain a lot of confidence and drive when it comes to drafting, rewriting, and editing my own work." – Audrey Moyce, former student
Selected essays published under Chloe’s mentorship:
"TikTok Made Me Gay" by Emma Turetsky in The Cut
"We Should Really Stop Using The Phrase 'Put Up For Adoption'" by Chris Phillips in romper
“On an Italian Island, How He Met My Mother” by Jessica Silvester The New York Times
“The Next Level of Commitment” by Vanessa Golenia on Longreads
"Teeth" by Rachel King in The Sun
My Break Up Survival Plan by Courtney Kocak in The Washington Post
“Infinity” by Audrey Moyce in Vol. 1 Brooklyn
One of our most popular writing retreats is back for 2023!
This impactful retreat, led by Nancy Sharp, is geared toward people of all backgrounds who care deeply about sharing what matters most—family and personal lore, deeply held values, life lessons, and the intent and stories behind the causes they care about—as a way to live with greater intention and meaning now and in the future. Nancy is an award-winning author, trainer, and storytelling coach. So many of us talk about wanting to pass along our most important life experiences but most of us never get around to putting them on paper.
Set amid 75 acres of formal and informal gardens and 8,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountains, the Biltmore House in historic Asheville, NC, was commissioned by George Vanderbilt in 1889 and is known as America’s Largest Home®. This spectacular venue is the ideal setting to step away from everyday distractions and reflect upon your very own life letter.
The Life Letters Retreat is open to individuals as well as couples. You’ll map your life’s narrative and be expertly led to write a personalized document that you can be proud of. No matter your writing experience, you’ll walk away with craft techniques about storytelling that will strengthen your voice on the page. You might even forge a path to publication.
Note that the life letter, which can also be called an ethical will or legacy letter, is not about facing mortality. It is about living with greater awareness and purpose, which is why sharing it with family and communities is cause for celebration. Benefits include greater understanding and acceptance of one’s self, greater alignment with one’s values, and a deep sense of purpose. Many individuals also cite stronger family relationships across the generations. The life letter will become an enduring, tangible part of your legacy, and something that can be amended over the years.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tell the stories, history, and experiences that have shaped your life’s journey. It’s a gift to you, your loved ones, and your community.
"Nancy Sharp does life-changing work." - William Silvers, M.D.
"I've wanted to write a legacy document for my family for many years. With Nancy's guidance, I finally did it." - Evi Makovsky
"Through Nancy’s expert guidance and individual coaching, participants experienced the act of transmitting values to the next generation in meaningful and intentional ways. There is no doubt that this work will enhance philanthropy both to the Rose Community Foundation, as well as in our greater Denver community." - Judy Altenberg, Rose Community Foundation
"Nancy is masterful at her craft, meeting people where they are at in life, helping them overcome resistance and barriers, and bringing out their deepest thoughts and sentiments." - Eric Sonderman
You can see the full 2023 Life Letters Retreat description here. Apply Now!
Led by award winning writer Taz Skylar. Born in The Canary Islands to an Arabic father and a Brittish Mother, Taz was kicked out of school at age 15 and worked at a factory until the age of 20.
He's now an accomplished writer who's last feature film was produced by Amazon Prime in 2022 and is due for release in April 2023. Before that, Taz's wrote his first play that debuted on stage in London and was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2019.
Taz currently has various feature films and TV shows in development with Ascendant Films (Producers of the BAFTA nominated feature BOILING POINT). As an actor, Taz is currently playing one of the lead roles in the NETFLIX Original series of ONE PIECE and has been cast in the BBC series based on the movie BOILING POINT.
The Ideal Participant is someone that loves writing and wants to learn the tools to jump start a successful career in scriptwriting for TV, Film, and Stage.
In this mentorship with Taz Skylar, you will learn screenwriting from someone who had no prior connections to the film industry, no family support, no formal education, and has gone on to make a career out of writing.
Taz is passionate about nurturing fresh new voices into the space. This isn't a mentorship program where you'll be taught the standard hero's journey or the classic three act structure that everything follows.
This is a program that will guide you through a distilled version of everything you NEED to know about writing as a craft and as an Industry. You'll understand and internalize where art meets commerce. Taz will explain and guide you through the craft and business of writing so that it makes senses and enables you to take action immediately.
Taz has mentored many emerging writers and guided them from their very first script, to signing with top agencies, to having projects optioned and full length pieces of work produced.
This mentorship is designed to teach screenwriting mentees a system by which they can churn out scripts consistently and quickly and develop a sense of which projects to strategically focus their energy in order to forward their career as a writer.
- A system to take you from idea to first draft (including structure, form, characters, dialogue, tone, world-building, and more).
- The know-how and skills required to develop a script further.
- A sense of knowing when your script is ready.
- The awareness to choose the right projects to focus on at the right time at different stages of your career.
- Finding your own voice, style and originality as a writer.
- How to budget your time in order to juggle writing in addition to your day job when you start out.
- An appreciation of how each medium works differently in both it's structure and process.
- An understanding of the industry and what the steps are to get involved in it.
By the end of the three month mentorship, writers will have:
- At least one finished piece of work.
- An actionable plan and roadmap to getting it made.
- The skill and knowledge to write scripts consistently going forward.
- The ability to analyze the things you watch and unpack why and how they work.
- Techniques to get through writers block.
- How to pick the right story.
- How to find producers and make them want to work with you.
- A full understanding of narrative structure (which applies to any piece of work, whether it be shorts, features, TV shows or plays)
- The ability to build original and three dimensional characters.
- How to development of your own writing style and voice.
- The know-how to effectively construct comedy vs constructing drama.
- How to create suspense and/or intrigue.
- How to write great dialogue.
- How to build the right tone into your script.
- An awareness of all relevant production companies, funding bodies, agencies and revised cover letters, in order to reach out to them.
This mentorship will teach you how different screenwriting is from other writing formats such as poetry, short stories, and novels. Its focus is to cultivate skills as a visual storyteller with the script serving as a blueprint for story. It will show you how to tell stories cinematically and how approachable writing a script can be.
Every writer is different so this mentorship is holistic in its philosophy to help overcome judgement, build confidence and learn at the writer’s pace. This comprehensive mentorship will guide you through the creative process and help you start writing regardless of experience or type of script you want to create. Together, we will explore what excites you about cinema and use that as a jumping off point towards creating an innovative and compelling screenplay.
Full Tuition for the 3-month program is $2,400. Accepted writers must commit to the full three months and meet all assigned deadlines.
Learn more about the full program here and Apply Now!
Applications for our July 2023 Paris workshops are open!
2023 Workshop Dates:
With two sessions to choose from, Writing Workshops Paris 2023 brings together fiction, nonfiction, and poetry writers for an intensive four days of workshops, craft seminars, one-on-one conferences, and in-depth discussions on the craft and business of writing. Our program is inclusive, intentionally small, and takes place in the middle of Literary Paris, rich with history and inspiration.
Applicants can apply for Session I or Session II and indicate their preference. We will try to accept writers into their first choice. Applicants can also choose to be considered for either session. Accepted writers may only attend one session, either Session I or Session II.
Each workshop will have no more than 10 participants. All writers will submit two completed pieces of writing. One submission will be workshopped by your cohort and instructor and a second piece will be submitted for your one-on-one meeting with your workshop leader. Daily craft talks are open to all participants and led by program staff or faculty.
Note: It is the responsibility of attendees of Writing Workshops Paris to have the appropriate documentation required and to meet any COVID vaccination requirements implemented by the country of France.
Session I: July 2nd - 7th, 2023
Fiction Instructor Marie-Helene Bertino
Nonfiction Instructor Chloe Caldwell
Poetry Instructor Ted Dodson
Session II: July 9th - 14th, 2023
Fiction Instructor Ramona Ausubel
Nonfiction Instructor Chloe Caldwell
What will my application include?
- Brief bio informing us of your involvement in the writing and literary community and any prior or forthcoming publications. (250 words max)
- Purpose statement explaining why you would like to participate in Writing Workshops Paris. You can also discuss current manuscripts or writing projects that you might choose to workshop. (500 words max.)
- Writing sample excerpt in fiction or nonfiction. This does not have to be published work, though that is acceptable, nor does it have to be a piece you plan to workshop. Complete works under the word count are not required; excerpts are acceptable. (Fiction/nonfiction: 3000 words max; Poetry: 3-5 poems max).