In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”
In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.
Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.
- learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
- reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
- participating in writing activities
- completing at-home assignments
- talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience
By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.
Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.
You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.
Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series
Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.