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Thursdays, Aug 22 - Sep 5
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

3 meetings
  • Summer 2024
Time of Day:
Meeting Location:
  • Online
Room: Zoom Room 4


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Writing about Your Family

Those of us drawn to memoir often emerge from complicated family dynamics and are eager to write about these relationships, however fraught they may be. Writing powerful, transformative, and trustworthy renditions of our families means that we must wrestle long and hard with how to write about the ones close to us. Neither pure angels nor demons, we have to explore their multidimensionality to produce more credible and moving writing. In this 3-meeting workshop we will explore the complexities of writing about parents, siblings, partners, children, as well as family secrets.

Deborah J. Cohan draws on her background as a writer, teacher, sociologist, counselor, and group facilitator both for abuse intervention classes and for workshops related to self care and creativity. Her experience in these different and overlapping arenas will support participants to think about how to free themselves of the constraints that so often hinder writers tackling and excavating family issues. This workshop provides a space to explore writing about family with care and courage whether it be first person essays for various media outlets or full-length book projects. By the end, you’ll have a compelling, well-crafted story about the intricate dynamics of your family.

Sessions will be a mix of short craft talks, spirited discussion with ample time reserved for participants to ask questions, and some time will be used for students to write, reflect, and share as they wish. Readings will also be distributed ahead of class meetings so as to have a shared foundation from which to explore these issues, and prompts will be given to inspire participants to experiment on their own between sessions.

Please note: it will be expected that all participants have cameras on during this virtual session and will help to hold the integrity and confidentiality of this space for talking about these complicated topics.

Please note: This class or event will be held online (using Zoom or a similar live platform). To participate, students or attendees should have a stable internet connection. Class participants: you should have a computer or device with a webcam and microphone; and your Zoom link will be automatically sent to you after you register. Check your spam box if you don't see it.

  • August 22
  • August 29
  • September 5

The MuseTeacher: Deborah J. Cohan

Prerequisite: Open to writers of all levels of experience