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Online Nonfiction Workshop with Lilly Dancyger

NOTE: This workshop is currently sold out. If you’re interested in being on a wait list, email yobarrelhouse at gmail dot com with “Online Nonfiction with Lilly Dancyger wait list” in the subject line.


  • This 8-week online workshop starts on September 9, 2019 and ends on November 4, 2019.

  • Registration is $250.

  • Participation is limited to 12 people and every participant will workshop two 4,000-word (or shorter) personal essays or memoir excerpts.


Work is posted every week by 10am EST Monday mornings (a schedule will be sent out before the class starts), and each participant posts their comments to that week’s discussion board, where discourse grows during the course of the week. At the same time, there are ongoing discussions on other boards where students can ask questions about whatever they want, and where the instructor will post short lectures and discussion prompts on specific craft questions like building vivid scenes from memory and maintaining narrative tension.

This workshop is open to writers at any and every experience level, with feedback that meets you where your work is—from building blocks to high-level fine tuning. Bring in essays you drafted just for this class, or memoir chapters you've labored over for years—bring whatever you want to work on, as long as you also bring an open mind and excitement to read and comment on other writers' work.


The workshops are run using the Canvas learning management system, a user-friendly, cloud-based education forum, which means, this is a virtual space. You can check in and out according to what works for your schedule within the parameters of the course.

Participants don’t have to be in a certain place at a certain time. They log in to the workshop space throughout the week, whenever it's convenient for them. We’ve had workshop participants from all over the world.


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Lilly Dancyger is the Memoir Editor of Narratively, a Contributing Editor and Writing Instructor at Catapult, and Assistant Books Editor at Barrelhouse. Her essays and journalism on sex, politics, and culture have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Rumpus, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, and more. She's the editor of Burn It Down, an anthology of essays on women's anger, forthcoming from Seal Press. Lilly is also at work on a memoir about her father's art and heroin addiction, and the legacy of both in her life. Follow her on Twitter at @lillydancyger

What an amazing treat to be able to study with such a fantastic teacher with such expertise on writing and publishing for such a reasonable price. Thank you so much!
— Workshop Participant, January 2019


Since spots are limited to 12, we need to be kind of strict about cancellations and refunds. Here’s the deal:

You can cancel and receive a full refund up to two weeks before the workshop start date.

After that, we’re locked in and can’t provide a refund.