Writing About Family: Memoir Writing Workshop with George Howe Colt

Date: 
Saturday, June 4, 2022 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
Location: 
Thoreau Farm
George Colt 2006 by Ellen M. Augarten

Fee $100

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“A man is worth most to himself and to others, whether as an observer, or poet, or neighbor, or friend, where he is most himself, most contented and at home.” (Thoreau, Journal, November 20, 1857)

We will explore the challenges and rewards of writing about  what Dodie Smith, author of I Capture the Castle, called “that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.”

We will read, write, and revise, as we consider issues both micro (what makes a good first sentence? a good first paragraph?) and macro (how do we write about our families in ways others might wish to read?). We will discuss the ethics of writing about those near (and, if we’re lucky, dear) to us.

“You own everything that happened to you,” essayist Anne Lamott has written.

What happens when ownership overlaps — when what happened to you also happened to other people? What, if anything, do you owe them?

Although fiction writers are welcome, the workshop may be most useful to those who write — or wish to write — personal essays, memoir, or family histories.

George Howe Colt is the bestselling author of The Big House, which was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; BrothersNovember of the Soul; and The Game. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, the writer Anne Fadiman.

Cancellation Policy

COVID-19 and live events:

To participate in a live event, you must have proof that you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Present your vaccination card at the door when checking in for an event or program. Participants will not be allowed to enter without proof of vaccination.

We will follow the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines for mask-wearing and other COVID-19 guidelines to ensure public health safety and compliance.

 The Write Connection at Thoreau Farm: A Program in Partnership with the Thoreau Society

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