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Off Campus Writers' Workshop - OCWW

Jane Hertenstein - The Memoir/Fiction Hybrid: Writing that Doesn’t Fit a Category- Remote Session

  • April 30, 2020
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Remote


Registration is closed

Remote Session

Often our work crosses boundaries, blurs the lines. Today many writers are publishing hybrids. Examples of metafiction and autofiction that blur the lines are The Friend by Sigrid Nunez, winner of the National Book Award for fiction, and History of Violence by Edouard Louis. 

Jane Hertenstein will talk about what constitutes a hybrid, the freedom to color outside the lines, and also some practical and ethical questions that pop up when considering how to evaluate and place work that blends memoir and fiction. Come prepared to explore all the many directions your writing may take you.

Jane Hertenstein is a repeat instructor at OCWW having presented on topics such as memoir and flash. She is the author of over 80 published stories both macro and micro: fiction, creative non-fiction, and blurred genre. In addition she has published a YA novel, Beyond Paradise, and a non-fiction project, Orphan Girl: The Memoir of a Chicago Bag Lady, which garnered national reviews. Jane is the recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Hunger Mountain, Rosebud, Word Riot, Flashquake, Fiction Fix, Frostwriting, and several themed anthologies. Her latest book is Cloud of Witnesses from Golden Alley Press. She can be found blogging at

Special Bonus! Jane, our resident flash expert, will  accept 500 word flash manuscripts from members for a free flash contest. Write about a special memory, a moment you witnessed under a streetlight, write flash romance, flash mystery, or a flash of anger. Condense a darling you had to cut from a longer work or write whatever flashes into your mind. You choose your own writing adventure! Submission deadline is April 16. Please see manuscript guidelines on our website: First Prize: 20 page manuscript critique Second Prize: 10 page manuscript critique. Third Prize: Speaker's's book. All will be selected by the winners during our 2020-2021 program year. 

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