A WriterGrrl asks: What do you think of teacher So-and-so?

In response to posting my picks, one Writergrrrl asked what my opinion of Clare Dederer’s nonfiction/memoir class, Problems in Overwhelm.

I have no personal experience with Dederer as a teacher. I read her pop culture criticism at Seattle Weekly through the 90s, and was happy to see her well-deserved rise to a national level; New York Times, Slate, etc.

That said, good writers are not always good teachers. Last year, I took a workshop from a celebrated Northwest writer. A $100 nap. In direct contrast, in a workshop with the almost-as-famous Aimee Bender, her energy and commitment really took us somewhere. I came out of the class with a start on a fully weird piece about the polka-dotted nursery where babies go after they miscarry.

http://www.clairedederer.com/about-2/I will say that from the looks of things, Dederer’s class has all the makings of a Wendy Call/David Schmader success for writers on the exploratory end of the spectrum. I am enthusiastic about this sentence from her clean-lined class description: “We’ll explore strategies for narrowing and selecting our material.”

Also, hers is an adorable headshot. Don’t forget, tomorrow I post Fiction Picks. Or here for Non-fiction Picks.


Author: allehall

I am a writer. I write to explore childhood: literary essays and short fiction, journalism, and three haiku. My published work expresses my belief that everything which did or did not happen to me as a child is manifesting in everything that is or is not happening to me today. More importantly, it is also manifesting for my children. I believe funny is the new navel-gazing, and that the best funny keeps a penny's worth of serious in an accessible pocket. Little-known fact: I have a completed novel decorating the inside of a desk drawer. Perhaps it is not funny enough.

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