Maaza Mengiste

Online Class
Research, Writing, and Revelation:
Using Real Facts in Fiction with
Maaza Mengiste
October 22nd - 26th

Price: $75
Members*: $60

How do I research my new story or novel? Where do I look for information? How can I merge my research with my fiction? When do I begin my research, and when should I stop? These are some of the questions that we’ll be answering in this five-day class. All stories require some form of investigation. I will take you through the steps to make this investigation—this research—an exciting and inspiring part of your writing process. Research is not an act reserved only for historical novels or academic texts. This class will help you unlock the potential resting in your story by demonstrating how to look for details that can be explored further and open new possibilities in plot, character, and setting. From brainstorming to plotting to writing, you’ll study research techniques that have worked for me and other writers and learn how to make them your own. At the end of the class, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of how to look, where to look, and how to use facts to greater advantage in fiction—and weave the two together seamlessly.

About Maaza Mengiste:
Maaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist. She is the author of the novels, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books; and The Shadow King, shortlisted for the Booker Prize and called "a brilliant novel...compulsively readable" by Salman Rushdie. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Creative Capital. Her work can be found in The New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Granta, the Guardian, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and BBC, among other places. Maaza’s fiction and nonfiction examines the individual lives at stake during migration, war, and exile, and considers the intersections of photography, memory, and violence. She was a writer on the documentary projects, Girl Rising and The Invisible City: Kakuma.

When can I register for this class?
Registration is open now through October 21st.
How does the class work?
Each day’s exercises, written lectures, and course material will be posted at 12am UTC. The class also includes a discussion board where participants can interact with one another and with Maaza.
Can I take the class on my phone?
Yes, the class can be taken on a mobile device, but we recommend a computer or tablet to get the most out of the experience.
Is participation on the discussion board required?
No, it’s optional; participants are welcome to jump into the conversation or sit back and observe.
Is there homework?
Yes. Each day will involve at least one writing exercise. These will not be reviewed by the instructor, but participants are welcome to share their work with other students on the discussion board.
Do I need to have a writing project in the works to make use of the exercises?
No. The exercises will be designed for you to be able to make good use of them regardless of what you are working on.
How much time will the class take?
Plan to spend about an hour per day reviewing the lessons and completing the assignments or exercises, plus however much time you choose to spend on the discussion board.
What if I want to take the class, but the dates don’t work for me?
The class is designed for you to proceed at your own pace, on your own schedule, so if you miss a day or three, no problem. All class materials will be accessible online until November 24th. Please note, however, that Maaza will be available on the discussion board only October 22nd - 26th.
Can I save the material for later use?
There will be some downloadable PDFs of exercises provided by the instructor, but otherwise class content lives on the learning platform. Students are not permitted to copy/paste the lessons to prevent distribution of the material without our knowledge, but are of course welcome to take notes.
What if I can’t wait to get started?
The discussion board will open on Tuesday, October 20th, two days before the first lesson, so that participants can meet, mingle, and familiarize themselves with the learning platform.
Do you offer financial aid or scholarships for this class?
Yes. We offer a limited number of need-based scholarships that cover 50% of tuition. Please email Lena Valencia at lena for more information.

Our online classes are designed to be safe spaces for all who participate. One Story will not tolerate hate speech, bullying, or harassment directed toward instructors or fellow students, and reserves the right to remove participants who engage in such behavior from our classes.

Member Discount: In order to qualify for our member discount, you must be a member at the time of registration. Please note that the discount is for our members only. Members commit to annual donations and receive benefits that allow them to participate in the organization in more meaningful ways. Not all One Story subscribers are members. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a member, you can do so here.

Refund Policy: One Story class payment is non-refundable after the class’s start date. For questions about the refund policy, or if you are unable to take the class after you have registered, please contact maribeth.

If you have any questions, please contact lena.

Class Registration:

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