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Speculative Nonfiction

January 25, 2020 @ EST 10:00 am


Member price:$65
Deadline to register: January 17, 11:59 pm

Instructor: Sonya Bilocerkowycz

Nonfiction is often understood to be the genre most bound by “facts” and “truth.” But as nonfiction writers, we recognize that sometimes a thing that feels true may not be so easily categorized. What, for example, is the role of imagination in nonfiction? Of memories misremembered? Of theorizing? Of cultural myths, or dreams, or hallucinations? Contemporary essayists Robin Hemley and Leila Philip suggest that speculative nonfiction “concerns itself with the figurative over the literal, ambiguity over knowing, meditation over reportage.” Together, we will confront and test this definition, analyze essays that employ speculation in the service of reality, and begin crafting our own pieces of speculative nonfiction.

Recommended Bibliography:

  •  Speculative Nonfiction Manifesto by Robin Hemley & Leila Philip (2018)
  • No Name Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston (1975)
  • Perhapsing: The Use of Speculation in Nonfiction by Lisa Knopp (2008)
  • Note by Elissa Washuta (2014)
  • Beyond Perhapsing: Split-Toning Techniques for Speculation in Nonfiction by Gwendolyn Edwards (2018)

Sonya Bilocerkowycz is the author of On Our Way Home from the Revolution, selected by David Lazar and Patrick Madden as winner of the 2018 Gournay Prize. Her debut book, it was also named a “Most Anticipated Essay Collection” for Fall 2019 by Literary Hub.  Sonya’s essays and poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Guernica, The Southampton Review, Ninth Letter, Image, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. Before completing her MFA at Ohio State, she served as a Fulbright Fellow in Belarus, an educational recruiter in the Republic of Georgia, and an instructor at Ukrainian Catholic University. She currently teaches Creative Writing at SUNY Geneseo and is Managing Editor for Speculative Nonfiction.


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January 25, 2020
10:00 am


Writers & Books
740 University Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607 United States
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(585) 473-2590
If you would like to make a request for any accommodation, please email us at accommodation@wab.org at least 10 days prior to the event or workshop.

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