Anna Qu on the Craft of Nonfiction


Open to the public

/ Thursday


There is often a false binary drawn between the writer and reader. The reader wants a confessional and the writer must excavate their lives in order to write an empathetic memoir. In this craft lesson we'll be looking at how do we find the balance between our painful narrative and protecting the reader? And what is our responsibility to our reader?

This craft talk will focus on the complexities of writing nonfiction, how to write trauma ethically, how to write trauma without cannibalizing one's experiences, and how to balance the craft of writing with the craft of writing trauma.

Anna Qu MFA ’12 is a Chinese American writer. She is the author of Made In China: A Memoir of Love and Labor, which The New York Times Book Review calls, "stunning." Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Lithub, Threepenny Review, Lumina, Kartika, Kweli, and Vol.1 Brooklyn, among others. Anna serves as the Nonfiction Editor at Kweli Journal, and teaches at the low res MFA program at New England College and Catapult. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College.