THREE SISTERS, THREE GENRES: Writing About Family In Memoir, Fiction And Poetry
The instructors are sisters – memoirist Catherine Watson, novelist Jane O’Reilly and poet Elizabeth Haukaas. The three grew up in the same house, sat at the same dinner table, took the same family road trips, were scolded for the same failings and praised for the same achievements, but their memories – like their genres – are different.
Drawing on their shared but separate experiences, the instructor-sisters will use group discussion, writing exercises and supportive feedback to help workshop participants identify key themes, sharpen narrative skills, and resolve such crucial questions as these:
What genre is the best fit for you? What life stories do you want to tell? Why do you want to tell them? Are there ways to write about family secrets without affecting family relationships? To whom does a memory belong? Does it matter whose memory is “right”? What effect do you want your writing to have on others? How will it benefit them?