Writers Project

Rachel Cline




The Question Authority (Red Hen Press 2020) by Rachel Cline weaves together the voices of protagonist, Nora; a seedy teacher, Rasmussen; his ex-wife, Naomi; and Beth, Nora's friend from childhood. Nora is now a 40-something paralegal whose work is to settle cases for the NYC Board of Ed out of court, but a case that comes across her desk brings up memories of the 8th grade teacher who molested Nora, Beth, and many other girls at their school. The past comes back to haunt Nora in many ways, and she has to try to make sense of what happened--to her, her friendship, and their school. The only way she can do this is by telling her story and Beth's, but most of all telling the story of what happens to our minds when we live through experiences over which we are largely powerless.

Washington Post review of The Question Authority

Virutal Writers Project Instructions

  1. Read the article first, a creative nonfiction essay about the author's experience.
  2. Listen to the craft talk next, which discusses turning fact into fiction.
  3. Listen to chapter 12
  4. Listen to chapter 29