New Class!
In-Person: Seaport

Writing Your Family History

6 Wednesdays from 10:30am-1:30pm, starting October 19th.
In-Person: Seaport
See Map
Level: Introductory
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

We’ve all heard stories of our parents’ and grandparents’ lives—tales of survival, of perseverance, of flourishing amid unimaginable circumstances. We’ve also heard quieter tales of the simple, beautiful art of being human in another time. But what can we do with these stories aside from tell them over and over to others? How do we create deeper meaning from the lives of those in the generations behind us?

For this six-week workshop, you will bring with you one or two cherished pieces of family lore and learn how to bolster them with structure, weave in your own insights and wisdom, and begin to transform them into polished pieces of nonfiction that you can offer to others in a new way. Class will include in-class writing exercises and discussion as well as 2-3 opportunities to bring a draft to the group for workshop. These workshops, led by the instructor, will offer support and constructive feedback to help you complete your work. As such, after the first week, you are asked to read one assigned published essay each week in addition to drafts of other participants’ work, for which you may prepare brief comments for feedback and discussion.

Beginning and established writers welcome.

Please note: Class does not meet November 23rd.

Class Format

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood. Please note that proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required to attend this class. Please submit your proof of vaccination here at least 48 hours before your class begins. Read on to learn more about GrubStreet's vaccine protocol and find information about where to get vaccinated below.

GrubStreet Vaccine Protocol

Please submit your most recent proof of vaccination, which requires a booster shot for those eligible, here at least 48 hours before your class begins. If you have previously submitted a proof of vaccination that did not include your booster shot, you will need to resubmit your updated vaccine card.  If you are not able to fill out our vaccination form 48 hours before your class begins, please bring your vaccine card (or a photo of it) with you to the building. Please note that if you arrive for class and you have not filled out the form and do not have proof of vaccination with you, you will not be allowed to participate in the class. And don’t forget your mask! In accordance with the City of Boston, masks will be required at all times while inside the building. Click here to read GrubStreet's full Vaccination and Masking Policy.

Vaccination status: For in-person classes and events, your vaccination status is considered up-to-date until the time you are eligible for a booster – which is 5 months after the second dose in a two-shot series. Boosters are required for all visitors on our second floor if your second shot was more than 5 months ago. 

Need help getting vaccinated? It’s free and easy to receive a COVID-19 vaccine! Please visit Massachusetts’ VaxFinder page to find a vaccination site near you. If you'd like to learn more, you can read the answers to some commonly asked questions about COVID vaccination here.

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 more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.


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Samantha Shanley
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Revision Assignments
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry

Commitment Level



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