Creative Writing Workshop: Family Stories We (Tell Ourselves We) Can’t Tell with Maud Newton
Saturday, March 16 @ 1:00 pm
Saturday, March 16, 2024 – 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (2 hours)
MDC Wolfson Campus
When writing about family, many of us come up against stories we believe we can’t tell. Maybe we worry it’s disloyal to tell difficult secrets. Maybe we’re afraid of embarrassing ourselves. Maybe our family history seems like a jumble, with so many complications and layers it’s hard to know where to begin. Or maybe telling stories about our ancestors seems impossible because we don’t know who our ancestors were or how they lived.
In this generative and supportive course, we’ll use writing prompts and exercises to explore our own stories and our concerns around them, and to consider possibilities that may emerge around the edges. We’ll look at ways other writers have dealt with these kinds of concerns. We’ll touch on meditative techniques to reduce flooding and help with emotional and artistic clarity. There will be some time for sharing and an opportunity for questions toward the end. Suggested reading will be provided two weeks before the class start date.
Writers of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and uncertain genre projects are all warmly welcome. A request to participate indicates your agreement to preserve confidentiality around any disclosures by participants and that you are entering the class in open-hearted good faith.
Please bring to class: a notebook, index cards, and whatever you need to feel as embodied and comfortable as possible, be that a cozy sweater, cup of tea or coffee, meditation cushion …
This workshop is presented as part of the 2024 NEA Big Read Miami.
MAUD NEWTON SCHOLARSHIP
Thanks to the author’s generosity, Miami Book Fair is offering one (1) full-tuition scholarship for anyone who identifies as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and/or with different abilities. This scholarship is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline to apply is Monday, March 4, 11:59 p.m. ET.
MAUD NEWTON is a writer and editor. Her book, Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation (Random House, 2022) was named a best book of the year by The New Yorker, NPR, The Washington Post, Time, Esquire, Garden & Gun, and Entertainment Weekly, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, a Roxane Gay Book Club pick, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize for a first book in any genre. Her recent bylines include The Washington Post, Slate, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and Harper’s Bazaar. Newton has discussed her family history, and the importance of individually acknowledging ancestors’ complicity in larger cultural harms, with NPR’s “All Things Considered,” the New England Historic Genealogical Society, WNYC, and UC Davis Jewish Studies/Religious Studies. In addition to nonfiction, Newton writes fiction and cultural criticism. She received the Narrative Prize and City College’s Irwin and Alice Stark Short Fiction Prize, both for fiction, and has been a Yaddo resident. As a teacher, she tends to focus on writing about family history honestly, open-heartedly, and with imagination.
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