Writing About Parents

Live Online Class:

Thursday, October 27, 2022

6:30-9pm Eastern Time

Writing About Parents

with Deborah J. Cohan

In writing creative nonfiction, what could have more primacy and urgency than writing about our parents? Whether or not we know our birth parents, were adopted, have a close relationship with one or both parents, or no longer speak to them, and no matter if they are alive or dead, we are all here because we come from some type of parents.

Those of us drawn to memoir, in particular, often emerge from complicated family dynamics and are eager to write about these relationships, however fraught they may be. Writing powerful, transformative, and trustworthy renditions of our families means that we must wrestle long and hard with how to write about our parents. Neither pure angels nor demons, we have to explore their multidimensionality to produce more credible and moving writing.

Deborah J. Cohan draws on her background as a writer, teacher, sociologist, counselor, and group facilitator both for abuse intervention classes and for workshops related to self care and creativity. Her experience in these different and overlapping arenas will support participants to think about how to free themselves of the constraints that so often hinder writers tackling family relationships.

This session explores the following issues: navigating the writing about parents with tender curiosity and care; considering the responsibilities of the author in writing about parents; carefully thinking through motivations for writing about parents; and how to take care of ourselves when (re)writing our past.

Cohan will share a bit from her memoir related to caregiving for a father she adored and who was also abusive, and she will share a bit about her next book related to her mother and creativity. The class will engage in spirited discussion with ample time reserved for participants to ask questions, and there will be time devoted to writing prompts in which students will write, reflect, and share as they wish.

Please note: it will be expected that all participants have cameras on during this virtual session and will help to hold the integrity and confidentiality of this space for talking about these complicated topics.

A 2 1/2 hour Online Class

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Time: 6:30-9pm EST

Cost: $105

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Your Instructor:

Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. is an award-winning public sociologist and author of the sociological memoir, Welcome to Wherever We Are: A Memoir of Family, Caregiving, and Redemption (Rutgers 2020). Cohan is Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort, a writer for Psychology Today and a frequent contributor to Inside Higher Ed, Ms. Magazine, and The Good Men Project. Her work has appeared in the Modern Love column of The New York Times, Teen Vogue, and Utne Reader. Regularly featured as an expert for media on a range of issues, Cohan has been cited in outlets such as: CNN, MSN, Newsweek, US News & World Report, Elite Daily, The Washington Post, Vox, Slate, Salon, Vice News, Huffington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. For more information about her, visit www.deborahjcohan.com

What You Can ExpectOur Payments & Refund Policy

Once you complete the payment process at our shop, you will receive an automatic confirmation from us. Your workshop instructor will then e-mail you to introduce themselves within 10 business days of the workshop start date with information and instructions for accessing the learning platform.

Making Your Payment: We accept payments by credit card and via PayPal.

Refund Policy: There is a cancellation fee of 15% included in each registration. Memoir Magazine will not issue a refund if a cancellation occurs after 48 hours of the class start time.

Memoir Magazine University cannot provide refunds, or transfer payments, for classes a student might miss, for any reason.  Your instructor may be able to offer a makeup session for a recurring class.

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