Amplify and Magnify: Using Braided Form to Make Your Work Bigger with Melissa Holbrook Pierson

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents Amplify and Magnify: Using Braided Form to Make Your Work Bigger, a six-week long workshop with Melissa Holbrook Pierson, February 25 – April 1, 2021. The class will be held online Thursdays, from 6 to 8 pm. Once they register and pay, participants will be given instructions on how to join the class.

Yes, sometimes less is more. But in writing, more is often much more: weaving two or three subject threads together can yield an explosion of meaning and effect far beyond the capability of a single narrative. Braiding, as it’s known, can be a powerful technique to deepen the emotional and intellectual power of any work, be it poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. It can work magic on a story, whether your goal is autobiography or essay or novel. Broadening the scope of your subject fosters a paradoxical effect of sharply focusing readers’ attention. It causes them to instinctively and subconsciously look for the connective meaning of the threads one chooses. We will practice reflective techniques for finding additional themes to amplify any writing. As in a hall of mirrors, braided work returns an image that appears endlessly deep. A piece of writing formed of several disparate parts can come together in a whole that is far greater than its parts.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson is the author of five books, including The Place You Love Is Gone and The Perfect Vehicle. A freelance book critic, essayist, and editor, she has taught writing at the Cape Cod Writers Conference and Gotham Writers’ Workshop. She has an MA in English Literature from Columbia University and is a submissions reader for the literary magazine The Common. Her website is

To register, e-mail To register online, visit Class fee is $100, if you register and pay by February 4, and $125 after that.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. Learn more at