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Write Now Online: The Narrative Palimpsest w/ videos by Lidia Yuknavitch (Introvert Ongoing)

May 15, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Online, N/A, Portland, OR 97207

Write Now: The Narrative Palimpsest – a Four-Week Online Creative Incubator

Extrovert Version Begins Saturday, March 13th

What is a Narrative Palimpsest?



noun: palimpsest; plural noun: palimpsests

  1. a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain.

something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

Origin: mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek palimpsēstos, from palin ‘again’ + psēstos ‘rubbed smooth’

A narrative palimpsest is a story that carries LAYERS of meaning; meanings that carry the trace of each other a layer at a time, like an onion or something being uncovered through more than one strata. As if an idea or theme or the thing you want to tell a story about has to be carefully uncovered—lie in archeology–or carefully recovered a layer at a time.

It can also be a text where meanings that were previously “hidden” or unknown suddenly begin to surface a little at a time. Or, it can mean going deeper into the history of the meaning of something to see how the meanings have changed over time. Often narrative palimpsests are meditative, as in the case of Bluets by Maggie Nelson…meditations on a single theme. Other times a narrative palimpsest involves peeling back all the layers of meaning, as in the case of the opening of There, There by Tommy Orange, or the novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell for sure…also The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner and pretty much anything by Virginia Woolf.

Four-Part Series—How it Works

  • Week One ::  Lidia will talk about palimpsests and their possibilities. You’ll have links to eyeball some beautiful narrative palimpsests for inspiration, some by Lidia, some from some of the books mentioned above, and some from Corporeal Writers who have taken this intensive in-person and published work derives from it. You’ll throw down some ideas of your own, riffing on the ideas that are percolating in your brain in a writing exercise provided by Lidia.Wetink will open up for you to explore on Wednesday, February 23rd.

    One zoom meeting the first week: Monday, March 15th @4pm PT in order to meet one another and answer any immediate questions.

  • Week Two :: Looking at what you wrote in week one (and, if in the extrovert version, looking at the generative feedback you receive from the others in your squad), you’ll commit to the most resonant idea of the ones you sketched out. Then, this week, you’ll go deeper in your writing, tunneling into the idea from week one that resonated most deeply for you. Lidia will offer guidance—both practical and abstract/artistic—on structure and process as you layer and un-layer the different levels of the story you are trying to tell.
  • Week Three :: Lidia will offer up some of her tried and true revision techniques, such as vertical reading, to help you look for missed opportunities in the text. You’ll be given tips for both opening up the work and paring it down to its essentials.
  • Week Four :: At this point you are on your way to a finished draft. Then what? Our workshops are often visited by people who don’t intend to try and get their writing published, but for the most part people are longing to put their narratives out in the world. Strategies and advice as well as reminders to celebrate—you had an idea and you carried it through to completion. Fuck yes.

We’re bringing another one of our hybrid writing intensives online for those of you who can’t be with us in person. In this four-part series (guided by videos featuring our resident mermaid Lidia Yuknavitch) you’ll read, get inspired and discover the germ of an idea, write it, revise it, and finish a first full draft of it—and for those interested in publication, we’ll offer strategies towards that end as well!

Two versions of this course will be offered:

  • Introvert’s Narrative Palimpsest: For $99, you’ll receive access to the four “weeks” of videos that Lidia has created for this series, and you will take them each on your own time from the safety and security of your writerly hidey-hole (OH BOY DO WE GET IT) The Introvert option is live all the time. Once you purchase it, you will have access to the videos in perpetuity.
  • Extrovert’s Narrative Braid: ***NEXT EXTROVERT CLASSES WILL LAUNCH SATURDAY, MARCH 13TH!*** For $150, you’ll receive these videos in the framework of an online community space with nine (9) other writers. Think of this as a playpen, a creative incubator to support you as you generate writing. A facilitator (one of Lidia’s longtime collaborators—Domi Shoemaker, Daniel Elder, or Katie Guinn) will be in the space for logistical help and to answer clarifying questions. These facilitators won’t be offering feedback—we want you and your fellow writers to turn to each other for that. Together, you’ll have space and time each week between videos launching, to bounce ideas off each  other and form a temporary community. And who knows? We certainly hope some of these communities will last beyond the course’s end date. Haven’t you been looking for a writing group? (After the class ends, you will maintain access to the videos should you wish to revisit them.) Extrovert version will also include a Zoom session at the opening of the four week session, on Monday, March 15th 4PM PST.

We do not currently have scholarships available for this online offering. We are always open to accommodating payment plans. Please contact Daniel Elder at to set one up.


Portland, OR 97207


Corporeal Writing
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