Reporter, Sleuth, Storyteller, Spy: The 90-Minute Guide to Investigating Like a Pro

Cost: $75

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Gearing up for a research-intensive writing project? Whether you’re working on a deep-dive history, a memoir that involves copious research or an investigative article, this workshop will help you build out an investigative reporting tool kit that can be applied to any writing project.

A reporter, author and experienced writing coach whose work has appeared in publications ranging from The Washington Post to BuzzFeed, Amelia Possanza became an amateur archivist in the course of writing her acclaimed book Lesbian Love Story: A Memoir in Archives, named a Best Book of 2023 by NPR, Harper’s Bazaar and Publishers Weekly. She conducted extensive interviews, listened to hours of oral history tapes, read unpublished dissertations, visited public and private archives and retraced the steps of her research subjects across New York City. Now she’ll walk you through how to take a similarly exhaustive approach to your own research-heavy writing project.

The session will explore the nuts and bolts of research — such as how to identify and access in-person and online resources, and how to navigate questions of copyright, privacy, permissions and citation — alongside broader questions about the pleasures and pitfalls of research. How do you leave room for new discoveries as you outline your work? How do you know when you’re done researching and ready to start writing? Students will have a chance to ask questions about their projects and will leave this session with the initial steps of a plan to tackle their own research, as well as an array of new skills and resources to bring to future writing projects. 

This class is right for you if…

  • You’ve got an idea for a nonfiction project that requires a lot of research, but you aren’t sure where to begin.

  • You’ve already found tons of sources and research for your book project and need guidance on how to organize and navigate it.

  • You’ve ever dreamed of becoming Veronica Mars, Willow Rosenberg, or Rihanna in Ocean’s 8.

After this class you’ll be ready to…

  • Fearlessly dive into any library or archive, find the information you need and plan out how to incorporate it into your writing.

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About Your Instructor: Amelia Possanza’s debut book, Lesbian Love Story: A Memoir in Archives, came out in 2023 from Catapult in the U.S. and Square Peg in the U.K. and was named a Best Book of 2023 by NPR, Harper’s Bazaar and Publishers Weekly. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, The Millions, and NPR’s Invisibilia. Amelia teaches creative writing to high schoolers through Lambda Literary’s Writers in Schools program, coaches swimming with Team New York Aquatics and occasionally volunteers aboard the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. She currently lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn, with her cat.

“The stories are deeply researched and imaginatively told through a mix of historical record, primary sources, invented scenes and the author’s own wrestling with the meaning of what she finds. Possanza challenges the history we’re taught, one that codifies and reproduces heteronormativity.” —Brittany Cronin, NPR’s Best Books of 2023

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Registration Details: Seats in this class are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All purchases are final and nonrefundable. After signing up, you’ll receive an email receipt confirming your purchase. Prior to the start of your class you’ll receive an invitation to access the virtual classroom and view all class materials.

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Check out all of our Narratively Academy online writing classes here.