BLAISE ALLYSEN KEARSLEY
Hello, it's me. I know the name looks complicated. I would like to help you with that:
My first name is pronounced BLAZE, my middle name is just ALISON, but with some
different letters, and my last name sounds like KEY-ER-S-LEE.
That's it for this first section of my website. It's been pretty demanding already.
I'm a New York-based writer and teacher and the creator/producer/host of How I Learned, a long-running storytelling, comedy, and reading series. I've appeared at The Moth, Risk, Literary Death Match, Mortified, The Gotham Storytelling Festival, and at various venues that serve booze and sometimes snacks.
My writing has appeared in Catapult, Longreads, VICE, The Boston Globe, Midnight Breakfast, Electric Literature's The Nervous Breakdown, Oldster, Elle.com, the creative nonfiction anthologies Nonwhite and Woman (forthcoming from Woodhall Press, Summer 2022), Cringe (Crown Publishing, 2008), and Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic. (Gallery Books, 2006). I've written for several magazines and online outlets dating back to 2001 that are perhaps not worth mentioning by name and probably don't even exist anymore.
I teach mostly memoir and personal essay writing, as well as creative writing for teens. I'm currently a contributing editor at Vestal Review, the oldest flash fiction journal on the planet.
In another life I took a lot of pictures with actual cameras, and some of those pictures were published in places like New York Magazine, Gawker, Playbill, The Morning News, JPG Magazine, and Nerve.
I live in Brooklyn, but if you need me for something somewhere else maybe I'll go there.
[ select writing
🜃 A Jet All The Way Oldster, 2022
🜃 The Story of My Father's Hands Catapult, 2022
🜃 Finding Oneself in 'Surviving the White Gaze' The Boston Globe, 2021
🜃 Why Mr. Bauer Didn't Like Me Longreads, 2019
🜃 The Mail Club Midnight Breakfast, 2016
🜃 3 Songs About Being Young and Disenfranchised Before The Internet The Weeklings, 2014
Blaise Writers Workshop + Consulting provides a safe space for BIPOC + LGBTQ+ writers.
Narrative nonfiction, articles, humor pieces, and poetry by current and former students have appeared in The New York Times, Modern Love, Blavity, Manifest Station, Refinery29, Dame Magazine, The New Yorker, McSweeney's, Elle.com, Rolling Stone, 11th Street Journal + elsewhere.
[ classes + consulting
Summer workshops coming soon!
Deluxe Workshop: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction + Things In Between
8 weeks; Thursdays,
March 24 - May 12,
7:00 - 10:00 pm ET
Limited to 7 writers by invite, referral, or writing sample.
This private workshop is both generative and feedback-focused, open to writers of memoir, personal essay, fiction, autobiographical fiction, hybrid, and those interested in more non-traditional approaches of truth telling.
Each week there will be blocked-out writing time, like a virtual write-in, with totally optional multi-genre prompts to spark ideas and experimentation. We'll spend the rest of the time on extensive critical feedback, both written and verbal. Participants will have 2-3 opportunities to submit revised work that originated in class.
$500 / $460 - $470 for returning writers*
*$30 off for writers returning for a second workshop; $40 off for writers who've taken three or more workshops.
Payment Plans Available / RSVP
Sudden Truths: Writing Flash Memoir + Super-Short Personal Essay
(Sponsored by Writing Workshops)
6 weeks; Tuesdays, beginning March 22,
7:00 - 9:00 pm ET
All levels. Limited to 8 writers.
How do you tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end in 250-1000 words? We'll explore the ways in which the super-short form can enhance our writing practice, improve our skills, and make sense of our truths.
We'll generate ideas through in-class writing, and discuss structure, pacing, narrative thread, and the revision process within the context of micro stories. Writers will share their work and receive constructive peer and instructor feedback.
$395 / REGISTER
One-on-one work is for any writer looking for personalized creative direction and guidance, whether you're working on a book or trying to finish stand alone pieces to pitch for publication.
Over the course of three coaching sessions, we'll meet remotely or in person, if the pandemic allows, to identify your goals and develop a work plan. You'll receive extensive critical feedback and other forms of guidance based on your needs.
For accountability and achievability, signing up for a minimum of 3 sessions is recommended.
Sliding Scale + Payment Plans Available / FREE CONSULTATION
Be among the first to hear about new and upcoming workshops.
"Blaise's class made me a stronger writer.
It was the hardest workshop I've ever done, but also one of the most important."
"I've taken several workshops over the years, all over the country, and this was by far the best. Blaise is a goddamn treasure."
"I feel so inspired, enriched, encouraged, and empowered in my writing practice. I've been sitting at my desk since we all logged off just feeling how full of gratitude my heart is—for you, the workshop, and the entire group."
"During quarantine I had to show up for myself and others who counted on me, even when I felt like all I wanted to do was hide under my couch. Being part of this creative group of writers saved me."
"Thank you for creating this generous space for us to try new things and be vulnerable, for the insightful feedback, and for leading us through the last 8 weeks. I'm really grateful."
"Blaise was really able to build a community on Zoom. This is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and she made it seem so easy."
"What Blaise does is so specific and so special. I don't think you can find that in other workshops."
"This is a fantastic format. The small class size ensures everyone gets ample time and submission opportunities. Blaise is such a skilled reader and editor, and her notes are always valuable. She offers wonderful perspectives, and assembles groups of writers with keen perspectives of their own. Highly recommend."
"I want to thank you for not only helping me improve my writing, but the confidence and practical knowledge I got from your classes to polish and submit my work. Your feedback and mentorship meant so much to me."
"I genuinely looked forward to each week. The feedback and advice you gave sent me back out into the world with confidence and purpose."
"Submitting something for publication for the first time was one of my goals for our eight-week workshop and that gave me the push I needed to hit the send button. Everything this group taught me about specificity, vulnerability and vivid storytelling made a huge difference."
"I loved that the readings center BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ voices. That was an important and edifying element."
"You treat every question with such a genuine desire to give the best possible answer and it made me happy every time. I admire that you focus on building people up. For someone like me, that means the world."
[ how i learned
Photo: Jon Boulier
Blaise Allysen's Kearsley's HOW I LEARNED series, a live reading/storytelling/comedy show, was born on the Lower East Side in 2009. The series has featured Aparna Nancherla, Janelle James, Alexander Chee, Anna Sale, Ophira Eisenberg, Isaac Fitzgerald, Nick Flynn, Mira Jacob, Nore Davis, Lizz Winstead, Amanda Duarte, Sasheer Zamata, Isaac Oliver, Jo Firestone, Mike Albo, Phoebe Robinson, Choire Sicha, Dan Kennedy, Rob Sheffield, Rosie Schaap, David Crabb, Jami Attenberg, and many, many, many, many others.
Named one of "Five Best Comedy Shows Hosted By Women" by CBS New York and one of the Best Storytelling Series and Best Reading Series by Time Out New York.
"Hostess Blaise Allysen Kearsley makes sure to keep it awkwardly funny." -CBS New York
"...Always hilarious, sometimes touching, and without fail entertaining." -Brooklyn Magazine
"This show has renewed my faith in this whole storytelling endeavor and what it means in the world." -David Crabb, Host of The Moth
"Blaise Allysen Kearsley is a charming host with an irrepressible, humming little laugh that seems to be a compromise she’s made with some wicked guffaw within." -LitWrap
And another thing:
The free virtual write-in offers 2 1/2 hours of silent focus for anyone who needs it.
No prompts. No chatter. Just good writing energy.
Pop in for part of the time or stay for the whole thing.
Get notified about the next one.
OK, this is the end of my website. You did a great job.
Photo: Adam Verity / Logo: Andy Ross Creative
© 2022 Bazima Productions