Borrowing Forms to Jump Start Creativity // Webinar

Reestablish the joy of playing with language

Borrowing Forms to Jump Start Creativity // Webinar

Every writer experiences some form of writer’s block—sometimes for lack of material, sometimes for lack of motivation, sometimes for feeling bored with default routines and predictable results.

Part lecture and part generative workshop for all kinds of creative nonfictionists, this webinar examines using borrowed forms (hermit crab essays) as sparks for generating surprising new creative work. Both thought-provoking and playful, and independent of experience or subject matter, our activities will nudge us sideways out of our writing ruts and into fruitful new paths that will reestablish the joy of playing with language.

In this webinar, you will

  • LEARN how essayists have played with borrowed forms for centuries;
  • FIND a community of contemporary writers who borrow forms to great effect;
  • EXPERIENCE the joy of putting form before material;
  • WRITE a few brief borrowed-form pieces;
  • ENJOY writing for the pleasure of playing with language, with no pressure to produce;
  • FREE yourself to continue seeking appropriate borrowed forms for your future writing endeavors; and
  • DISCOVER journals that seek to publish work in borrowed forms.

This is a webinar for all sorts of creative nonfiction writers, from beginners to experts, including memoirists, essayists, journalists, and writers of all subjects.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

2 pm - 3 pm EDT

Advance registration required.
Space is limited.

$15 if registered by 07/12/2020
$20 if registered after 07/12/2020

Registration will close 24 hours before the event.

A recording of the webinar will be sent out to all registrants three business days after the event.

PLEASE NOTE: It may take a little while for us to process your order and send you the link to the webinar. If you haven't received the link by the morning of July 22, please email us at

About the instructor: Patrick Madden is the author of three essay collections, Disparates (2020), Sublime Physick (2016), and Quotidiana (2010); coeditor of After Montaigne (2015); and cotranslator of the Selected Poems of Eduardo Milán (2012). He teaches at Brigham Young University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is vice president of the NonfictioNOW conference; with Joey Franklin he edits the journal Fourth Genre; with David Lazar he edits the 21st Century Essays series at the Ohio State University Press; and he curates the online anthology and essay resource

Questions? Please call us at 412-404-2975 or email the director of education, Sharla Yates, at