$100

2-Day Writing Workshop: Writing Your Family Tree w/ Sarah Shotland

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$100

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Sign up today for a two-day intensive nonfiction writing workshop with local writer and instructor Sarah Shotland

About this Event

Roots and Branches: Writing Your Family Tree

We don’t get to choose our families, but when we write our family stories, we do get to make choices about how we frame, represent, embrace, and challenge the family histories we’ve been told, discovered, or remember through the years. In this two-day generative workshop, we’ll dig deep to hit the roots of our family trees and write the stories that we can pass down to the next generation.

Family is a rich and layered topic to explore in creative nonfiction, and we’ll examine different modes that can help us craft family stories that are both personal and ready to be shared publicly.

We'll be honing our skills of detail, description, metaphor, and imagery in writing about our families. This workshop will contain writing exercises, sharing, and discussion. We'll be moving through a series of prompts that generate complex, nuanced, creative approaches to writing about family. Day 1 will be generative, Day 2 will be sharing/workshop. We'll use a modified version of the Liz Lerman Creative Response Method to give each other feedback.

Students will take away generative strategies they can use for writing about the family (and writing in general!). At the end of the workshop, each student will leave with at least one draft of a family portrait piece.

Students need to come with a photograph of a family member they're interested in writing about, and/or already have written about.

This online workshop is suitable for beginner and experienced writers. Prior experience writing prose or in writers' workshops is a bonus, but not a requirement.

Here's a "syllabus" of books Sarah will be visiting during this course and recommends reading if you'd like to learn more (includes a link to purchase Sarah's own book). No need to read or purchase these before the course.

All students who register and attend will receive 10% off a future workshop!

This workshop will take place on Zoom. The link will be provided via email the day of the event. Registration ends at 12pm ET on 12/5. Our minimum enrollment is 5 and our maximum is 15. Please head to whitewhalebookstore.com/student-policies for more information on our refund and cancelation policies.

There will be a limited number of scholarships available for folks experiencing financial hardship at the moment or who otherwise find the fee to be a burden; please email events@whitewhalebookstore.com for more information.

About the instructor:

Sarah Shotland is the author of the novel Junkette, and a playwright whose work has been produced in theaters nationally and internationally. She is Program Director and cofounder of Words Without Walls, which brings creative writing to jails, prisons, and drug treatment centers in Pittsburgh. Her essays about that work have been published in The Iowa Review, Creative Nonfiction, Baltimore Review, SmokelongQuarterly, and elsewhere. She teaches in the MFA program at Chatham University.

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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