Craft-Talks Logo

Join the List

Loading Events

« All Events

Virtual Event Virtual Event
  • This event has passed.

Writing the Hermit Crab Essay: Telling Your Story in Borrowed Forms

April 13, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event


Learn to write and revise a Hermit Crab essay from the teacher who coined the term, and have fun generating new and surprising work!

The “Hermit Crab” essay, Brenda Miller writes in Tell It Slant, borrows a form that already exists in the world to tell a personal story. Like the hermit crab creatures themselves, these essays need a found shell to contain their vulnerable underbellies. In this webinar, Brenda Miller will show how you can find your own shells and use them to coax out material that otherwise might not have found its way. She will provide powerful examples and guide you in a fun and inspiring writing practice to generate new and unexpected material. She will also describe revision approaches and submission strategies for these innovative essays.

In this session, you will:
  • LEARN about the varieties of this form
  • EXPLORE beginning a Hermit Crab essay
  • PRACTICE writing and revising this form
  • DISCOVER submission possibilities
This webinar is for…
  • any writer who wants to explore new ways to generate material
  • experienced writers who want to approach their material in unexpected ways
  • writers who want to invigorate their writing practice

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



BRENDA MILLER is the author of six essay collections, most recently A Braided Heart: Essays on Writing and Form. Her collaborative collection with Julie Marie Wade, Telephone: Essays in Two Voices, won the Cleveland State University Press Nonfiction Book Award and was published in 2021. She received the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award for her poetry book The Daughters of Elderly Women and the Washington State Book Award for her memoir An Earlier Life. She also co-authored Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction with Suzanne Paola and The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World with Holly Hughes. Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes. She is a Professor of English at Western Washington University and associate faculty at the Rainier Writing Workshop.




Questions? Please email


April 13, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT
Event Categories:
, ,
Event Tags:
, , , ,


Brenda Miller
View Organizer Website