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Diving Deeply: Using Research to Explore, Expand, and Revise Your Work

April 17 @ 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event


Whether you write true stories, fiction, or poetry, research can be a multifaceted tool to explore, expand, and revise your work.

While we often think of research as something you complete before we start the “real” writing, or a damaging distraction (rabbit holes, anyone?) research is a powerful tool at every stage of the writing process–from idea to final draft. During this seminar, discover how to deepen something already drafted, develop a few facts into a strong narrative, and what it means to revise at the sentence level with tweezer-like word choice “with intention.” 

For more than 20 years, journalist and author Maggie Messitt has been asking of her favorite books and stories: How is this made? Where did they get that? How could I get that? Her early approach to studying the art and craft of narrative nonfiction led her to understand how writers across genres can harness the power of research as a tool of exploration, expansion, and revision. 

This presentation is for you if you love research, but also if you don’t see it as part of your process. You’ll leave with new ideas either way!

In this webinar, you will:

  • BE GUIDED through the process of how to implement research — from idea to final draft
  • LEARN a range of uses for research by exploring examples of Messit’s work and the work of others
  • APPLY techniques immediately to your work

This webinar is ideal for …

  • anyone looking for tools to explore their writing in new ways
  • writers working in all forms of nonfiction — memoir, essay, historical, journalism, narrative nonfiction
  • writers of fiction and poetry interested in using research as a tool throughout their writing process

Closed captioning is available. ✔
All registrants receive the recording.


MAGGIE MESSITT is the author of The Rainy Season, a work of narrative and immersion journalism, long-listed for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award in South Africa. Her second book, Newspaper, a segmented and braided narrative, is part of the Object Lessons series and forthcoming May 2024. A dual citizen of S.A. and the U.S., Messitt founded Amazwi, a rural non-profit media organization in South Africa that trained women journalists, and publisher of its award-winning newspaper, The Villager. She later became the founding national director of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to address critical coverage gaps.

Messitt has received fellowships from Bowers Writers House, Kenyon Review, Clayton B. Ofstad Endowed Writer-in-Residence, and was the 2019-2021 Mellon Fellow in Narrative Journalism. She taught in the Goucher College MFA in Creative Nonfiction program for 5 years. She is currently the Norman Eberly Professor of Practice and Director of the News Lab at Penn State University and finishing up her next book—a hybrid of memoir and investigation into a single missing person’s case.

Questions? Email


April 17
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm EDT
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Maggie Messitt
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