WEDNESDAYS, SEPT. 7th – OCT. 5th | Writing about family can be meaningful, intense, sticky, rewarding and challenging. There is no topic that feels more personal, more urgent, or more fraught. We are drawn, over and over again, to telling stories about those who have profoundly shaped our experience.
In this class, we will explore these irresistible tales of kinship and then learn how to shape them into compelling essays or fiction (and how to choose which is the best vehicle for a particular story). We will study examples of published authors who have produced unforgettable work using family as inspiration. We will also explore the emotional terrain that comes with this genre, by reading the anthology Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family.
Students will complete a number of literary prompts and exercises, and leave the class with a draft of an essay or story and the tools to transform other family experiences into literary art. Each student will have the opportunity to receive feedback from the instructor as well as classmates.
This class will meet as a group via Zoom. I will also hold private conferences with each student at a time that is mutually convenient.
A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Contact the instructor if you need financial support in order to participate.
Scheduled class sessions will take place via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.
Susan Ito is the author of The Mouse Room. She co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption. Her work has appeared in The Writer, Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Hip Mama, Literary Mama, Catapult, Hyphen,The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. She is a MacDowell colony Fellow, and has also been awarded residencies at The Mesa Refuge, Hedgebrook and the Blue Mountain Center. She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the US. Her theatrical adaption of Untold, stories of reproductive stigma, was produced at Brava Theater. She has been a member of The Writers Grotto, since 2012. She teaches at Mills College/Northeastern University and Bay Path University. She is one of the co-organizers of Rooted and Written, a writing workshop for writers of color.
Number of sessions: 5
Dates: Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21, 28; October 5
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm Pacific Time
Course fee: $375