Gathering Stories Workshop

October 25, 2017 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

When a place disappears, how do memories of that place live on?

Communities and landmarks may change from generation to generation, but storytelling allows the history of a place to live on and inform the future. 

In collaboration with local civic technology organization Code for Pittsburgh, Creative Nonfiction is offering an evening workshop focusing on interview techniques. Plus, you'll learn how to get involved with the one-of-a-kind 2017 Unlandmarks Project.

Wednesday, October 25 // 6 pm - 8 pm

FREE with a suggested $5 donation at the door
(Advance registration strongly recommended for this workshop. Space is limited.)

Register here »

What is the Unlandmarks Project?

Through the end of 2017, Code for Pittsburgh will be building a map of landmarks that are gone. Buildings, businesses, public art, noteworthy trees--they want to hear about it all. They're making a free and open record of those historical landmarks and the stories that connect people to them.

The Unlandmarks Map will reveal and detail historical injustices. It will show the rent-raising which closed down minority-owned businesses, the murals which were painted over, the unique houses which were knocked down for bland concrete apartments, the jazz nightclubs which were lost to the Civic Arena.

It will also reveal high points, including industrial achievements at a scale that might not be seen again, bustling neighborhood shops, and art from an earlier age.

The goal is to collect as many stories as possible and empower citizens to get involved in influencing the future landscape of our city. In order to collect the data and build the map, they need dedicated writers and citizens to collect stories and spread the word. That's where you come in.

Join us on Wednesday, October 25, for a free evening workshop on interview techniquies and more information on how to get involved with this one-of-a-kind project.

Under the instruction of Andrew Conte, an award-winning investigative journalist from his time at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the current director of Point Park University’s new Center for Media Innovation, we'll cover the basics of getting someone to open up and share their story with a stranger. The evening will end with a Q&A session with a Code for Pittsburgh representative who can answer all of your questions about the project.

During this workshop you will learn to:

  • GAIN the trust of your interviewee;
  • FOCUS on really listening in the moment;
  • GENERATE strong notes that will help you write a complete story;
  • UNDERSTAND if you are interviewing for a specific story or just mining for information.

PLUS, you'll have a chance to practice your interview skills after the workshop. We invite all attendees to act as a secretary for community members--mining for their stories and inputting information for the Unlandmarks Map--during a CNF and Code for Pittsburgh Community Listening Event.* Perhaps you'll find the inspiration for your next essay while working on the Unlandmarks Project!

* Attendees are highly encouraged to volunteer at the Community Listening Session at Creative Nonfiction, and to use their writing and interviewing skills in direct service to the project. The Listening Session is scheduled for the evening of Friday, November 3.

Location // Creative Nonfiction
5119 Coral Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Free on-street parking is available. Doors open at 5 pm, event begins at 6 pm. Tea, coffee, and light snacks will be provided. The lower level of our workshop and gallery space is wheelchair accessible. 

Register here »

Questions? Please call us at 412-404-2975 or email our events manager, Lauren Boehm, at