Newest Brief Essays

"Women's Hour, YMCA" featured in Kenyon Review Online

"I Second That Emotion" (craft essay) featured in New Ohio Review


Other Brief Essays

"Advanced Directive to My Future Roommate…"

"Things Gone the Way of Time," recently reprinted in Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction (Norton)


Study with Rebecca this summer

Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, June 18-25


Kenyon Review PODCAST with Rebecca

(on memoir, genre-crossing, writing practice, and more)


Word Painting Revised Edition: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively

New edition includes over 100 writing exercises for all genres.

Word Painting

The Tribal Knot

Rebecca'a newest nonfiction book, The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change is now available from Indiana University Press and Amazon.

Tribal Knot

Readings, talks, and other events

Rebecca travels extensively to conduct:

  • readings of her work (nonfiction and poetry)
  • talks and lectures about the writing process
  • keynote addresses at writers' conferences
  • book club discussions
  • hands-on workshops
  • short-term classes
  • critique sessions
  • brief residencies in schools and universities
  • in-service training for teachers
Rebecca McClanahan

About my workshops

Rebecca McClanahan conducting a writing workshop
In my workshops, I am not interested in "fixing" so-called flawed texts; fixing is the work of morticians. I am interested in helping writers discover what their drafts want to be when they grow up. How do we locate the essay hiding within the messay, the memoir stalled on a ME-more track, the poem trying to sing its way out of the journal's pages?

MFA Programs

Rebecca McClanahan conducting a writing workshop

Low-residency MFA programs:


To book an event or for more information:

email: mcclanmuse@aol.com

Rebecca's appearances

CALIFORNIA Santa Barbara Community College, University of Southern California
FLORIDA Florida International University
GEORGIA University of Georgia, Associated Writing Programs conference in Atlanta, Harriet Austin Writers Conference
IDAHO University of Idaho
LOUISIANA Associated Writing Programs Conference, New Orleans
ILLINOIS Associated Writing Programs Conference, Chicago
IOWA NonFiction Now Conference, Iowa City Mount Mercy College
MASSACHUSETTS Curry College, Milton, Commonwealth Bookstore, Boston
MISSOURI Lyon College
NEW YORK CITY American Society of Journalists & Authors, The Writer's Voice, The Writers Studio, The New School, CUNY Graduate Center, Writer Nights on Broadway at Lincoln Center, American Place Theatre, National Arts Club, Poetry Society of America, KGB Bar, Barnes & Noble, Posman Books, Cornelia St. Café, The Ear Inn
NEW YORK STATE, State University of New York, Brockport, State University of New York, Farmingdale, Hudson Valley Writers Center, Sleepy Hollow, Pace University, Pleasantville,
NORTH CAROLINA, Mint Museum of Art, Davidson College, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Queens University, Charlotte, Catawba College, Salisbury, Wake Technical College, Raleigh, Meredith College, Raleigh, Novella Festival of Reading, Charlotte, Regulator Bookshop, Durham, Malaprops Books, Asheville, Wildacres Writers Workshop, Little Switzerland, Charlotte Writers Club, North Carolina Writers Conference, North Carolina Women Writers Conference, Winston-Salem, Asheville Poetry Festival, Central Piedmont Community College
OHIO Kenyon College, Ashland University, Denison University, Ohio university, Hiram College, Ohio State University, Antioch Writers Conference, Columbus College of Arts and Design, Barnes & Noble, Columbus
PENNSYLVANIA, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Germantown Academy, Washington, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg
RHODE ISLAND Community College of Rhode Island, Providence
SOUTH CAROLINA, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, University of South Carolina, Aiken, Francis Marion College, Florence, Wofford College, Greenville, Presbyterian College, Clinton, Governor's School for the Arts, Greenville. Poetry Society of South Carolina, Charleston, Hub City Writers Conference, Greenville
TEXAS, Associated Writing Programs Conference, Austin
VERMONT, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Middlebury,
VIRGINIA, Longwood College, Farmville, Randolph-Macon Women's College, Piedmont Community College, Charlottesville, Washington & Lee University, Lexington, James Madison University, Harrisonburg
WASHINGTON Rainier Writing Workshop, Tacoma
WEST VIRGINIA West Virginia University, Morgantown