Genre: Memoir, Creative Nonfiction
Antonia Crane is a writer, professor, and Moth Story Slam Winner in Los Angeles. She is the author of the memoir Spent (Barnacle Books/Rare Bird Lit, March, 2014). Her other work can be found in The New York Times, Electric Literature, The Toast, Playboy, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Dame Magazine, Salon, PANK magazine, Black Clock, The Rumpus, The Weeklings, The Believer, Frequencies, Slake, The Los Angeles Review, The New Black, and lots of other anthologies. She is a co-founder and Senior CNF editor of the Antioch Alum journal The Citron Review and the CNF editor of Word Riot. She can be found running up Griffith Park mountain and here: http://antoniacrane.com. She tweets @antoniacrane.
Antonia’s Book Coaching Statement
By far, the most exhilarating professional experience of my life has been to be of service to other writers and shepherd them to publication. I’ve mentored incarcerated teenage girls since 2010, tricking them into writing powerful essays for publication in a bi-annual anthology and have taught creative writing, poetry and journalism to teenagers around inner city Los Angeles for several years. Most of my publications are nonfiction, however, I also love fiction.
My favorite thing has been to teach students at UCSD literature and edit their work, draft by draft and watch it grow and shine.
As your creative nonfiction writing coach, I will encourage you to think both intellectually and intuitively about your work as you lead your reader across the river of your story rock by rock. I am less interested in you writing what you know than writing what you don’t know and or don’t remember. Write something that shocks you by taking the mundane, mediocre events in life and playing off of that.
I’m excited by what Cheryl Strayed has referred to as “radical interiority,” which means that there is a unique consciousness we bring to bear on the stories we tell and we get there by asking: what question bubbles at the core of your story? I will encourage you to explore this question by going deep to the root where the ground is darkly fertile and rich. When you dig deep, I will ask you to dig deeper. For, It is what is universal that is contemporary and it what is current that is ancient and this is the place to dive in because it connects us to our readers.
I will remind you that we learn from our darkest teachers.
I will ask that you be concrete, meaning, to rise to the occasion of a life by being generous, vital and conversational in your work in order to attune yourself to the needs of your readers.
I will ask that you transcend the civil and abandon the correct version of events in service of your emotional truth.
Finally, I will urge you to write bravely with humility and a tremendous amount of heart.
What students say about working with Antonia:
“Antonia is exactly the kind of book coach you want on your bench. She praises the good stuff, and gets to the heart of what’s not working, fast. She brutal and gracious; she’s careful and she’s always, always rooting for the truth. She has the kind of brilliant book-changing ideas we all wish we could have in the middle of the night, but she actually remembers them. She loves my story like I love my story. She’s made me a better writer. She’s made my book a better book. I’m utterly indebted and truly grateful.” ~Francesca Kaplan Grossman