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The Ancient Art of Imitation: Learning Craft from Other Writers

November 1, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event
ancient art,imitation,learning craft


The tried-and-true art of observing and imitating others’ techniques will give you new ideas and directions.

If you had been a student of writing during the Renaissance, part of your training would involve not only creating imitations of work by “great” writers, but studying others’ imitations: how Virgil imitates Homer, how Horace imitates Pindar. Since classical times, the “student of eloquence” learned by imitating great models, and imitation is still a way to learn more about the work of writers we admire–and expand our own craft.

We will look at how contemporary writers can examine and learn from the style and structures of other writers–and generate ideas and solve problems in our own work. We’ll look at examples and do some brief exercises. Bring a paragraph from a piece of writing you admire. 

In this webinar, you will:

  • LEARN to closely examine the voice and structure of admired work
  • PRACTICE close observation
  • DISCOVER a new tool for generating material & understanding voice
  • FIND the inspiration to write your own “covers”

This webinar is ideal for:

Beginning to advanced writers of nonfiction and fiction interested in applying what they admire about other writers’ writing to their own work. Anyone who’s thought “wow, I wonder how they did that?” when reading a great book.

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


ancient art,imitation,learning craft

NANCY MCCABE is the author of six books, most recently Can This Marriage Be Saved? A Memoir (Missouri 2020). Her debut young adult novel Vaulting through Time was released in summer 2023 from CamCat Books and her debut middle grade novel in spring 2025 from Fitzroy/Regal House. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Fourth Genre, Massachusetts Review, Salon, Newsweek, and LARB, among others, received a Pushcart and been listed as notable by Best American anthologies nine times. She directs the writing program for the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and teaches in the Naslund Mann graduate program in creative writing at Spalding University. 

Questions? Please email


November 1, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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Zoom Meeting


Nancy McCabe
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