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DIVING INTO THE WRECK 2.0 is postponed until Spring 2020.

Check back this winter for more info!

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There are two ways to worry words. One is hoping for the greatest possible beauty in what is created. The other is to tell the truth.
— June Jordan


DIVING INTO THE WRECK 2.0 is an 8-week Advanced Personal Nonfiction Writing workshop that builds from DIVING INTO THE WRECK 1.0. The workshop is which is open to women and those who identify with womanhood (including those who are cis, trans, and non-binary) and continues the discussion in DIVING 1.0 of voice, persona, and the double perspective required for personal nonfiction writing. (Though it’s important to note that you are not required to take 1.0 before 2.0.)

What's different about DIVING 2.0 is its structure, the page lengths required of the writer, and the reading asked of the participants. It’s for those who have endeavored on a larger project—typically a memoir or a collection of essays.

Structured like a traditional writing workshop, participants workshop three submissions of 10 or less pages over the course of the eight weeks. Writers who are up for workshop will submit their work a week in advance of the following workshop meeting, while fellow workshoppers will read and write feedback before the session.

Workshops are based on a mindfulness model, encouraging observations and critique for opening work, not to limit or define it. As we provide feedback during workshop, our discussions will inevitably cover craft questions specific to the challenges of literary nonfiction, including how to integrate external material (research) into your personal story, the distinctions between situation and story, experimentation with genre, as well as all how to deal with revealing one's self on the page.

Take this workshop if you've taken DIVING 1.0 or DIVING 2.0 already, or if you're already deep into an essay collection or a memoir and are looking for deadlines, feedback, and community.

DIVING 2.0 will include:

  • support, community, and ever-necessary deadlines to get your project done

  • short in-group writing exercises

  • three opportunities to go up for workshop with 10-page submissions

  • weekly workshop discussions of participants' works in progress

  • in-group discussions about the publication process



This class will be capped at eight participants, so sign up today by emailing
Sarah at

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Sarah Dohrman’s nonfiction writing workshop ‘DIVING INTO THE WRECK’ is an experience unparalleled to any other kind of class or tutorial I’ve ever done. Through a combination of practical, specific prompts and the intimacy of spending time in a small, trusted group, I was able to find my confidence and voice as a writer. I learned that telling and writing our stories is not only a personal journey, but a communal process that is like medicine for the psyche. Doing this work has allowed me to shed light on my past, break through my sense of isolation, and appreciate the magic of the written word in a fundamentally more profound way. This workshop is for those both brave and shy, reticent or outspoken, for anyone who is ready to understand the power of the stories we write ourselves into from the day we are born.
— Liza Buzystky


Sounds incredible. How do I sign up?

E-mail me at or (either one) to touch base and to tell me what you're looking for in a workshop. After a short convo, you'll be invited to submit a deposit of at least $200 to secure your spot in the workshop. Payments can be made in increments or in full via Venmo (@Sarah-Dohrmann), PayPal (, or cash. Receipts are always given immediately!

Do I have to have taken your DIVING 1.0 workshop in order to do DIVING 2.0?

No, but contact me at before you secure your spot so we can talk about your specific writing needs. It’s possible that DIVING 1.0 may be a better fit.

I'm a results-oriented person. I want results! What have yours been?

One past participant landed an agent and several are now on their way to writing an essay collection based on the work generated in DIVING 1.0 and DIVING 2.0. Another former participant published an essay in the New York Times borne of her work in DIVING 1.0. And yet another published an essay in Longreads, which she drafted in DIVING 2.0. Many more have published their work in literary journals and absolutely everyone has found a community for their art practice. These are pretty good results, I'd say!

I've taken workshops before and have even gotten my MFA, and I gotta say, I'm burned out. I'm sooo tired of people half-assing their comments on my work. Plus I don't like stupid people. But I do need the structure. This is not really a question as much as a concern. What do you have to say about it?

Ugh, me too. If there's anything I hated most about grad school, it was when workshop participants "shoulded" on me (usually men), and the instructor did nothing to keep dumb-ass comments in check. Those who take this workshop co-create their own agreements at the outset about their participation. Typically agreements include the ways in which individuals in the group would like to help one another elevate one's writing practice. What do you need in a reader? What do you need as a writer? Agreements include participating in discussions that are based in curiosity and openness, not in placing one's paradigm upon the other (no "shoulding" on each other here). It's the "shoulding" that's stupid; but other stupidities are totally allowed and encouraged, like braving new territories in your work and allowing for uncertainty. This is a supportive writing community, but it's also rigorous. As workshop leader, I agree to ensure that participants stick to their agreements.

What makes your workshop different from all of the others?

Based on past participants' feedback, I'd say it's the intimacy that's developed through mindful workshopping and the caring community that comes from that practice. We're intersectional thinkers. But maybe I should let past workshoppers answer this one. To read some testimonials, go here.

I really want to publish something ASAP. Can you help?

Well, I can sure help your work to become publishable. And discussions about publication will be a regular part of our workshop. But no matter what, if you'd like further one-on-one coaching, we can talk about options. Please note, however, that this workshop, unlike others, is not a publishing engine. It goes deeper than that. I mean, it's called DIVING INTO THE WRECK for crying out loud.

I would love to take this workshop, but I'm going to miss a few classes. Is that okay?

I'd love for you to take the workshop, too! But out of respect for those participating and in the interest of creating a trusting community, you must be able to attend at least seven workshops to participate. Clear the decks to prioritize your writing!

Okay, I’m almost ready to commit, but I’m still skittish. What’s your refund policy?

If you sign up and then have to drop the workshop, I ask that you let me know as soon as possible. The last day to get a full refund for whatever you have paid is prior to the start date of the workshop. But after the class has already started and you still need to drop, I’m afraid you are ineligible for a refund.

Who died and made you boss?

No one! I'm not boss. I'm just here to guide you with my special SD dedication, which is comprised of 50 percent love and 50 percent rigor as you make your dive. But if you want someone who's published a lot and taught a ton and been around the block a time or two, I'm that too. You can find my bio here.

WANT TO SIGN UP? still GOT QUESTIONS? need a friendly nudge?

E-mail Sarah at

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