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Object As Subject // Webinar

Writing inspired by what you hold

Object As Subject // Webinar

If your house were on fire and your loved ones were safe, you’d hastily spend a minute grabbing some random sentimental objects on your way out the door. All of us feel deep connections to some of the plainest objects in our lives: vinyl records, works of art, shoes, chairs, and so on. The image of these daily or popular items is often considered fodder for poetry, but it can also be a rich source of inspiration in prose. Creative nonfiction doesn’t have to be limited only to things that happen; it can also be about a thing you hold in your hand. An object is a great subject!

This workshop will guide you through different ways of writing about the objects that speak to you. Whether you want to sing the praises of a pair of sunglasses for an entire essay or just hone in on the finer points of a hubcap in a tale about something else entirely, this session has tools that will help bring the words you need to the objects you love.

  • LEARN how to research using the foundations of journalistic writing
  • EXAMINE the ideas that your object represents, and
  • BEGIN writing your story

Saturday, June 8, 2019

1 pm - 2 PM EST

Advance registration required.
Space is limited.

Requirements for webinar participants: Have an object, or photo of an object, nearby that will serve as the focus of your writing.

$12 if registered by 5/27/2019
$15 if registered after 5/27/2019

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

Want to attend live and receive feedback? There is an in-person option available as well. 


Webinar Overview: 

Just the Facts: We will begin by looking at your object objectively. Using the basic principles of lede-writing in journalism, we’ll determine the “who, what, when, where, how, and why” for your object.

How and Why Again: Next we will explore the deeper story of your object. In thinking about the context of objects, most are the result of some sort of design, for example—some objects are made by machines, others by people, others by nature. Some objects have a clear purpose or physical use; others are more for contemplation or appreciation. What can you know about your object, and what is unknowable?

Make It Mine: After understanding your object in reality and in theory, we’ll integrate it back into our lives. You’ll work on telling the story of how this object came into your life and why it has mattered, focusing on how it makes you feel.

The presentation will end with Q & A.

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


Megan Volpert is the author of many books on popular culture, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists and an American Library Association honoree. She has been teaching high school English in Atlanta for over a decade and was 2014 Teacher of the Year. She writes for PopMatters and has edited anthologies of philosophical essays on the music of Tom Petty and the television series RuPaul’s Drag Race.


Questions? Please call us at 412-404-2975 or email our coordinating editor, Kaylee Ritchie, at ritchie@creativenonfiction.org.