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Fiction Never Lies: Turning Personal Experience into Emotional Truth with Nan Cuba

March 18 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm CST


Mondays, March 18, 25 & April 1, 8, 15, 22, 2024, 6:30-8:30pm CST, Hybrid (available in-person and online via Zoom)
Instructor: Nan Cuba
Nonmember: $155; Member: $135; Student/Educator/Military $75




CLASS FULL. To have your name added to the waitlist, email joshua@geminiink.org. 

People we’ve known, moments we’ve witnessed, conversations we’ve overheard, places we’ve been, something we’ve read: these influence aspects of our fiction. Sometimes an experience is so profound, we decide to use that memory as inspiration for a story. But how do writers free themselves from the restrictions of facts in order to create a story with emotional truth? This six-week class will introduce techniques for identifying real events, people, or places that can be adapted into fiction. Examples will be shared, participants will be guided through a sample exercise, and each person’s story will receive feedback from the instructor and fellow classmates. Workshop discussions will honor individual styles, voices, intended audiences, and perceived intents.

This course is open to writers of all genres and skill level, 18+. 

By the end of the class students will: 

  • Have strategies for successfully adapting personal experience into fiction.
  • Learn and practice skills for giving sensitive critical feedback on manuscripts.
  • Have a completed story draft with ideas for revision.

The Writer’s Desk with Nan Cuba

Nan Cuba is the author of Body and Bread, winner of the PEN Southwest Award in Fiction and the Texas Institute of Letters Steven Turner Award; it was listed as one of “Ten Titles to Pick Up Now” in O, Oprah’s Magazine and was a “Summer Books” choice from Huffington Post. Other work has appeared in Antioch Review, Harvard Review, Columbia, Quarterly West, and Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row. As an investigator of the causes of extraordinary violence, she is a featured journalist in the Netflix documentary, The Confession Killer, and another by Hulu, Wild Crimes: Murder in Yosemite. Cuba is included in Texas Monthly’s “Ten to Watch (and Read)” and has received a Dobie Paisano Fellowship and an artist residency at Fundación Valparaiso in Spain. She is co-founder and executive director emeritus of Gemini Ink, a nonprofit writing arts center, and was Writer in Residence at Our Lady of the Lake University.

Parking at Gemini Ink
Gemini Ink offers free parking along the back wall of our downtown offices. Please access this parking lot from Augusta St and first park in any of the 12 spots along the back wall. Only when these 12 spots are full do we ask that you park elsewhere in our lot. We now rent our offices from UTSA and are collaborating with them to create a secure and accessible parking lot for our community of writers and readers.


March 18
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm CST
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Mandy Lynn Lara


Gemini Ink
1111 Navarro St
San Antonio, TX 78205 United States
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