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Looking Back, Moving Forward: Writing About Grief, Loss, and Trauma

Robert Frost wrote, “no tears for the writer, no tears for the reader,” but how do we create effective story from emotionally difficult material? Writing well about loss requires more than capturing slippery memory on the page - the act of reflection must advance the narrative.

In this prompt-driven workshop, we will examine elements of renowned trauma memoirs and undertake writing exercises that will help us examine how both sorrow and joy are put to work in powerful creative nonfiction.

Participants will explore strategies for writing about loss and trauma in pursuit of insight, wholeness, and connection to readers. We will end our time together with a new understanding of the little-known continuation of Frost’s quote: “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.”

Open to writers of all levels.

Participants will:

· Examine the nuts and bolts of notable examples of memoir and essay about loss, grief, and trauma to understand the writers’ craft;

· Generate new material from writing prompts designed to explore memory from new angles;

· Explore the narrative balance of research, memory, and imagination;

· Develop confidence in their right to write their version of events.

Facilitators: Jessica Handler
Track: Writing Creative Non-Fiction
Location: TBD
Sunday, June 7, 2020 - 10:10am to 11:40am