#me tooWriting about trauma in fiction and memoirYou’ve grown past it. You’re over it. You’re sick of talking about it. It happened so long ago.God knows, you’ve told—your mother, your five best friends, your spouse, your therapist, even that one blind date you couldn’t have been more wrong about.Now you want to write about it. But write what? Write how?And what exactly is “it”?At the Writers Studio, you’ll be in good company. Our six-week course is designed to introduce you (or reintroduce you)to great writers for whom trauma—sexual and otherwise—has provided rich subject matter for their fiction and/or memoir.How did they create art out of trauma?Each week your instructor will pass out excerpts from work by writers like Alice Sebold, Toni Morrison, Kathryn Harrison, Darin Strauss, Joyce Carol Oates, and Mona Simpson, all of whom found answers to that question by using specific narrative techniques.Each week you will write two double-spaced pages using that week’s great writer model to address some aspect of your own material. When you bring copies of your exercise back to the next class, your classmates and your instructor will read your work in class and provide oral feedback.In the final week, you’ll have a chance to dig deeper and move forward by expanding one of the models that feels promising to you.The Writers Studio will help you find the right guide to take you where you’d love to go. #You too will begin to write where “telling” ends.
Lesley Dormen has been writing fiction and memoir about her own experiences with sexual abuse since 1990, including her published work in Elle, Redbook, Glamour, Epiphany, the anthology Unholy Ghost:Writers on Depression (William Morrow) and The Best Place to Be: A novel in stories (Simon & Schuster). Other publications include The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times. Lesley is Associate Director of the Writers Studio and a longtime fiction teacher there.