Neutrons Protons hosts monthly nonfiction writing series at Press Street's Room 220

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Kyle Sheehan, artistic director of Neutrons Protons, wraps up the magazine's first print edition. - SOPHIE JOHNSON
  • SOPHIE JOHNSON
  • Kyle Sheehan, artistic director of Neutrons Protons, wraps up the magazine's first print edition.


"We are living in an era where everyone is more empowered than ever before to tell her own story," says Sophie Johnson, editor-in-chief of the locally-based nonfiction and satire magazine Neutrons Protons. "You'll see that in storytelling events that pop up around cities, and in the rise of the podcast. But the written form of that, it might be argued, is the essay."

In the spirit of the belief that the essay is "the medium of the future," and to help give writers all over the city an extra push to explore creative storytelling, Johnson and the staff of Neutrons Protons are hosting a series of non-fiction writing workshops beginning this month. Each workshop will have a different theme, and September's is The Truth. The first workshop is this Sunday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at Press Street's Room 220 (3718 St. Claude Ave.) and will feature an hour of instruction, prompt and warm-up, followed by about 45 minutes to an hour of guided writing time. 

"The idea is for there to be space to learn, space to write and space to workshop," Johnson says. "A lot of times writing groups expect you to come with something prepared. Some of us are afraid of writing, and we just need the space to do it in an environment where we're fired up and ignited to do some of the writing in the space."

Writers will round out the class with 30-45 minutes of workshopping with either a peer or an instructor. 

The other dates/themes are:

Oct. 12: What Scares You
Nov. 9: Families
Dec. 14: Gifts
Jan. 11: Satire
Feb. 1: Love
Mar. 15: Living Things
Apr. 12: Small Things
May 17: Reflections

The workshops are $10 each and include helpful tips, prompts, publishing ideas, time and space to work and — most important — snacks. To sign up, click here

Johnson also hopes the workshops might help generate new material for the magazine, which exists both online and in print with a flurry of sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always thoughtful pieces, coexisting with nice, original images and gifs. The submission deadline for the next issue, whose theme is "Disguises," is September 20. 

"We're looking to expand the kinds of pieces we get," says Johnson. "We really want to fill the magazine with as many New Orleanian writers as we can. It is not a New Orleans-specific magazine, but we all are looking to see if we can give it some local flavor." 


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