MCWC 2019 Master Class

The Master Class is a juried-in workshop, restricted to only twelve participants. Applications will open January 1 and close February 15. This year’s Master Class, The Craft of Personal Prose, will be taught by ground-breaking memoirist Myriam Gurba. Applicants are selected based on merit by the MCWC board and the Master Class instructor. The Master Class tuition of $675 will be required upon selection.

If you are accepted into the Master Class, you will be expected to have work to share with the class on July 1. This work does NOT have to be the same work you submit to gain entry. 


To apply for The Master Class:

Submit a writing sample of 2,000 words to Please include a cover letter with your name and contact information and write “Master Class Submission” in the email subject line.

Samples should be double spaced, in 12 pt type, and should carry your name on every page. PDFs are preferred, but you may submit a Word document.

Applications close on February 15, 2019. No late applications will be accepted.

You will be contacted by email at at the beginning of March when selections have been made. If you are selected for the Master Class, you will be sent a link to register for the conference. A payment of $675 will be required at that time.

If you are not selected for the Master Class, you may register for another workshop when general registration opens on March 1.


Master Class: The Craft of Personal Prose

Having lived is possibly the least important qualification for writing memoir. In lieu of living, Myriam Gurba privileges craft. She also understands that audiences have developed a taste for memoir that reads like a novel and novels that read like memoirs. To achieve personal prose that moves novelistically, we will raid the toolboxes of both novelists and poets and we will aestheticize personal narrative using these borrowed devices. We will also learn about autotheory, an emerging genre which marries personalized anecdotes to history, philosophy, critical theory, contemporary politics, and art, and discuss how autotheory might restructure and enhance each other’s projects.


Myriam Gurba’s most recent book, Mean, a work that is part true-crime, part ghost story, and part personal history, was a finalist for the 2018 Judy Grahn Award as well as a New York Times editors’ choice. Her first book, Dahlia Season, won the 2008 Edmund White Award. Her personal essays have been published in TIME and The Paris Review and she has written art criticism and historical monographs for KCET. She is too superstitious to share what she is currently working on.