The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2020

Friday, February 21, 2020, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.


The Fictional Realities of the Nonfictional "I" with Sarah Viren

Date(s): Friday, February 21, 2020, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Location: 
Heritage, University Club (view map)
Type(s): 
Craft Talk, Presentation
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Memoir, Poetry
Tags: Narration, Character, Narrative, Characterization, Persona

About the Session

First-time memoirists and essayists often assume a direct translation between the person they are in real life and the life they make for themselves on the page. But an under-discussed truth about personal narrative is that our "I" must be invented each time, much in the same way that we recreate ourselves for different ages or situations: the classroom, the bedroom, parenthood, sleep. In this craft talk, we will discuss the gap between the "I" we feel we are in the real life and her shadow-self we bring to life on the page, using what we learn in this investigation to explore larger questions regarding narration and characterization--primarily in creative nonfiction, but also in poetry and fiction as well. 

Meet the Presenter(s)

Photograph of Sarah Viren

Sarah Viren is author of Mine, an essay collection that won the River Teeth Book Prize and the GLCA New Writers Award, and was longlisted or a finalist for the Pen Art of the Essay Award, a Foreword Indies Award, and a Lambda Literary Award. Sarah’s creative work has been supported by an NEA Fellowship and a Kerouac House Writing Residency, and her writing appears in or is forthcoming from the New York Times Magazine, the Oxford AmericanTexas Monthly, and elsewhere. An assistant professor of creative nonfiction at ASU, she directs the university’s graduate certificate in Nonfiction Writing and Publishing.