Writing about Death & Grief: Online
Writing about painful subjects like death and grief can feel terrifying. Whether it’s because of pain around your own loss, or just not knowing how to gracefully write about the complexity of feelings––ranging from guilt, confusion due to unanswered questions, pain, and sometimes even relief––it can be difficult to know where to begin.
In this course, we will face our fears around writing about death, grief, and loss, by providing a space in which we can excavate our feelings and experiences around them to find the stories within them. The goal of this course is to get more comfortable writing about death and grief, by expanding our narrative toolbox, finding and expanding our narrative toolbox, finding new lenses through which to write about death and grief, and by generating a lot of new material.
Each week, we will discuss a different aspect of death, grief, and loss, such as the difficulty of capturing the entirety of someone who is gone on the page and connecting our loss to the outside world, and answer such questions as: who’s story is this? where do I begin it? And what’s the best form to explore it? We will supplement our discussions by reading The Art of Death by Edwidge Danticat as a class, as well as other examples of writing about grief in various forms, by authors such as Jesmyn Ward, Max Porter, Ann Hood, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Jason Reynolds. We will also the discuss trials and tribulations that come from writing about death and grief, and share strategies and resources on topics like how to practice self-care when writing about difficult topics.
Students will have the opportunity to submit and receive feedback on short writing exercises each week from a prompt inspired from our reading. This work can be in any form: poetry, essays, stories, or hybrid forms. At the end of class, you will have the option of submitting a longer piece for feedback.
You will leave this class with increased comfort and confidence in writing about death and grief, an expanded toolbox for tackling difficult subjects, and at least one finished piece, along with a host of new material to develop further.
*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class.
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 more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
Previous Students Say
- "Diverse Reading Assignments"
- "Supportive and Informative"
- "Supportive Environment"
- Class Discussion
- Instructor Feedback
- Craft Lessons
- In-Class Writing Prompts
- Study Published Writing
- Get Feedback
- Generate New Work
- The Novel
- Short Fiction
- Book-Length Memoir
- Personal Essay