Autobiography and Autobiographical Fiction, Creative Process, Fictional worlds, News; things to look for, Story

Online Classes start again July 14; Claiming Our Stories: Autobiography & Autobiographical Fiction ( August writing workshop/retreat at The Leaven Center. And independent story classes coming around again soon….

Dear Writers,

Looking for a place to push your work to the next step? Do it online with me and a group of varied and dedicated writers, at

I will again be teaching 2 classes online for on the net, beginning July — the 14th or 21st, TBA, 2011:  Claiming Our Stories: Working with the Power of Autobiography and Autobiographical Fiction, Parts One and Two. These are both 10 week courses for writers of both memoir/creative nonfiction and fiction.

For full descriptions and registration, please go to

For questions, email me at aachtenberg at

I am also accepting clients for one to one work, long distance and in person, on large projects in progress, shorter works, and work to bring forward your writing, jump over roadblocks, and develop a deeper understanding of story and language and the tools to work with them.  Contact me soon for scheduling. Two current and recent clients have just found publishers for their books: Christine Stark for her novel, Nickels, and Shanti Bannwart for her memoir, Dancing On One Foot: Growing Up In Nazi Germany.

I have also been teaching independently,  Finding the Real Story: The Essential Elements of Story in Fiction and Memoir, as discussed in my post of March 11, 2011; and this cycle will soon be over.  I expect to  teach it again soon. It is a powerful spiraling through the elements of story, great to begin with, but a class most definitely also for experienced writers.

You might find a story within you might not have expected. Email me for details, or to get on the list of interested people.

So much to talk about.

So much to write.


AHHHHHHHH but wait — what are you doing in mid-August? A phenomenal writing workshop in the countryside of Michigan, on the Grand River. My 8th summer teaching there — and a serious bargain…

August 18-22, 2011

Yearning for Justice: Writing is/as Resistance

At a time when global and local resistance movements are accelerating in all areas of human life, bringing into voice greater numbers of people—often from long oppressed populations—the once hidden longings of people for justice and dignity are at the center of the language we hear every day. Our vision is filled with images of resistance, as well as images of loss unbearable and continuing.

Those aspects of our lives hidden in order to survive, bordered by frustration, overwork, exploitation, abuse and violence, and our powerful energies for resistance and community-building, are coming forward in our actions and in our words. We will work together to create the stories and poems, plays and songs, essays and articles, that convey aspects of our own lives previously silenced or hidden, and honor others in their struggle, loss, and great resistance movements.

Let’s join together in this powerful circle with the planet, to recognize our own enduring power and resistance, nourish it, and express it with our writing. Writers in all genres, at all levels of experience, whether active, beginning,  returning, are welcome. We have work to do.

Time: Thursday, 7:00 p.m.-Monday, 1:00 p.m. (after lunch)
Cost: $350 ($125 deposit + $225 balance due) includes program, lodging and vegetarian meals if you register by July 18; after July 18 the cost is $375. Partial scholarships are available.

ANYA ACHTENBERG lives in Minnesota, teaches creative writing throughout the United States, and is creator of the “Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World Workshops.” She has received numerous literary prizes in fiction and poetry, including fromCoppola’s Zoetrope: All-Story, New Letters, Southern Poetry Reviewand Another Chicago Magazine. Anya’s works include: The Stone of Language (poetry, West End Press); I Know What the Small Girl Knew (poetry, Holy Cow! Press), and The Stories of Devil-girl(novella, Modern History Press; audiofile available on her website). Her ecently completed novel, Prairie Angel, was excerpted in Harvard Review under the title More Than The Wind. She is at work on History Artist, a novel centering in the experience of a Cambodian woman born of an African American father at the moment the bombing of Cambodia by U.S. forces began. and received a 2008 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant for this work. In 2010 and 2011 Anya organized cultural trips to Cuba for writers, artists, filmmakers, etc. She also offers manuscript consultations for fiction writers, poets, essayists and memoirists; and writes about writing at

Please come!  Breakthrough City!  Great writing inevitable. Great people, stunningly so.  Great food–gotcha!  The river running through it, honest.

See you soon.


Anya Achtenberg

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