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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Writing About Trauma

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

As writers, we sometimes choose to make art out of our worst experiences—but how do we write about the traumas of others without reopening old wounds or wrenching away control of the narrative? How can journalists and writers of creative nonfiction gather facts and conduct interviews without retraumatizing their subjects? These questions don't have easy answers, but we'll tackle them in this one-day course, analyzing published pieces that exemplify what to do, and what NOT to do, when writing about sexual violence, childhood trauma, and other fraught subjects, and workshopping our own approaches to research and writing. This course is open to writers of all genres but will cater especially to journalists covering these challenging subjects, memoirists and essayists whose work wades into the traumatic experiences of family members or friends, and any fiction writers or poets whose process involves in-depth research or interviews. Readings will include the infamous Rolling Stone article "A Rape on Campus," as well as the Columbia Journalism Review's extended critique. We will also rely on the materials provided by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma for guidance.

Scholarships Format/Location

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.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!