A free eight-week writing workshop // Your true story, well told
illness affects one in five young people (ages 13–18)—a rate of occurrence that
is staggering compared to cancer, broken bones, and the other physical ailments
we hear about regularly. And yet, there is still a powerful stigma attached to
mental illness, which often makes it hard for people to ask for help. If you’ve
ever faced the challenges of mental illness, or seen its impact on family or friends,
then you likely know the isolation caused by stigma.
multi-week workshop at Creative Nonfiction is a chance to write about your
experiences with mental illness—whether your own or someone else’s—and the stigma
surrounding it. In addition to learning the
basics of creative nonfiction, such as crafting scenes and characters, finding
your audience, and revising your work, you’ll also receive training on how to
prepare a portion of your work to be performed aloud at a public event. You’ll
gain control over your story and your experiences, and the event will allow a
larger audience to better understand and appreciate what it’s really like to
live with mental illness.
also become part of a special cohort of young adults working together to
dismantle the stigma surrounding mental illness and show that people
affected by mental illness can survive and prosper emotionally, creatively, and
academically. Part of working together and dismantling the stigma means sharing
what you're writing each week with the workshop group. If you're feeling shy,
you may ask the instructor or a peer writer to read for you. This workshop will
help you find your voice and help advocate for change.
will be led by author Yona Harvey,
an assistant professor at the
University of Pittsburgh, an award-winning author of both poetry and essays,
and a writer for Marvel Comics.
What is creative nonfiction?
put, creative nonfiction is true stories, well told—factually accurate, artful
prose about real people and events. Learn more here
Who should apply?
Any resident of Allegheny County in grades 9–12
with a true story to tell about the challenges or the satisfactions of
confronting mental illness—whether your own or that of a friend, peer, or
family member. You must also be prepared to travel to the Creative Nonfiction
Foundation (5119 Coral Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15224) for weekly workshops.