Leo Tolstoy famously said, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In this week long workshop, we will explore the sticky particularities of our family stories and how best to convey them on the page. Each day will be devoted to a different craft topic that will improve how you bring your family to life on the page, including Narrating Childhood, Characterization, Showing vs. Telling, and Writing Through the Unknown and the Unknowable. Through lecture, daily writing, and close reading of work from writers including Jesmyn Ward, Alison Bechdel, and Nick Flynn, among others, this course will give you the tools to help you locate the questions driving your desire to revisit the past. Students will finish the week with new material and fresh insights into old material. Come with curiosity, eagerness, and stories!
Meets: 2-4pm (EST)
Alysia Abbott's memoir, Fairyland, was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and was named Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Shelf Awareness. Fairyland has been translated into Polish, Spanish, Italian, and French and has been awarded the ALA Stonewall Award and the Madame Figaro “Prix de l'Héroïne” Literary Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, TriQuarterly, Lit Hub, Vogue, and elsewhere. Formerly the Director of the Boston Literary District, she now leads the Memoir Incubator Program at GrubStreet in Boston.