Family Trouble in Creative Nonfiction
Writing our lives often means writing about our families. Family is our first mirror and how we first define ourselves, and that’s why writing about them is one of the trickiest aspects of memoir and personal essay writing. We can’t get away from these people and how they’ve shaped us, but how fair is it to put them in our stories? How does a writer handle writing about family with honesty and respect? Some writers have opted not to write memoir and personal essays (or have labeled their work fiction) to avoid the pitfalls that surely come when writing about family. This class is for those who can’t help but answer the call, and strive to do so with love.
In this generative seminar, we will examine how writers have tackled writing about family in their essays and memoirs through authors like David Sedaris, Paisley Rekdal and Jeannette Walls. We will also discuss specific craft techniques that can help us in writing about the people who love us the most, know us the best, and hurt us the worst. We will practice the techniques using proven prompts and writing exercises.
This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!
Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.
For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
Previous Students Say
- "Supportive Environment"
- "Great for Newbies"
- "Inundated with Great Info"
- Generate New Work
- In-Class Writing
- In-Class Reading
- Class Discussion
- Book-Length Memoir
- Personal Essay