New Class!
Online: Zoom

Tough Love: Writing Difficult Family Stories (2-Part)

2 Saturdays, from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST), starting March 4th.
Online: Zoom
See Map
Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

The hardest stories to tell are the ones about our own families: how do we write about these real people to whom we are closest, by blood or emotional attachment or both? How do we overcome the fear of offending our loved ones, or misrepresenting them, so that we can tell our stories with total honesty and sincerity? The task of writing our families’ stories becomes even more daunting when the dynamics within our families aren’t picture-perfect.

In this class, we’ll tackle our messy family stories together. Using Carmen Maria Machado’s “Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead”, Tara Isabella Burton’s “The Destroyer”, and an excerpt from Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s “Undrowned” as models, we’ll leverage narrative form and poetics as means of overcoming our inhibitions in writing our families’ stories. Join us to find emotional solidarity with other writers who are also navigating sensitive terrain; new craft techniques that can contain your complicated familial relationships; and inspiration for your fiction/creative nonfiction projects. 

Class Format

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!

Scholarship Information

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.

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Kayla Degala-Paraíso
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Previous Students Say

  • Great for Newbies
  • Lots of Practical Tips
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Diverse Reading Assignments"


  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Lecture
  • Class Discussion


  • Short Fiction
  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction

Commitment Level



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