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5 Week Prose Workshop: Writing the Family

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CourseGraphic Writing the Family
Writing the Family
A five-week fiction workshop. This course is designed for writers at all stages of their careers to engage in the intimate, sometimes messy, very often meaningful, act of writing about family through fiction and creative nonfiction. We will close read several short works and excerpts from larger works that explore the nuances of the familial system in all its beauty and strangeness. These works include texts by Ocean Vuong, Tommy Orange, Mieko Kawakami, and Miriam Toews.

We will have weekly in-class writing exercises inspired by the selected readings to push us to approach the task of translating the multitudes of the family system into the written word with nuanced consideration and care.

Writing The Family will feature a writing workshop, starting during Week 2, where students will each have one opportunity to share writing they’ve developed during the course to receive in-class feedback from their peers and the instructor. Students will also be given written feedback, line edits and a longer feedback letter from the instructor.

The purpose of this course is to guide students in the process of writing about the family as an act of love, rage, understanding, and ultimately, self-exploration.

April 3 to May 8, 2024

Wednesdays, 6:00pm to 8:00pm EST

on Zoom 

Who should take this class? 

Writers at all stages of their careers who are interested in reading about and crafting narratives about family systems. Folks who are interested in having their writing read and responded to and who are eager to engage in generative writing exercises.

"Jenessa is one of the most thoughtful and generous teachers I have ever worked with. She gently pushed me to go deeper into my writing, to think critically about my practice and who I am as an artist, while simultaneously creating a safe space to meet me exactly where I was. Jenessa provided extremely attentive and helpful feedback; her love of teaching and her enduring respect for her students was always felt."
- Former Columbia University Graduate Student

"Jenessa exhibited genuine care for her students and pushed her students to do better. Throughout [her course], I found myself not only getting better at writing but also finding joy in writing."
- Former Rutgers Undergraduate Student

Class Details

6 Session(s)
Weekly - Wed

Sarah Lawrence College - Virtual

Jenessa Abrams 



Schedule Information

Date(s) Class Days Times Location Instructor(s)
4/3/2024 - 5/8/2024 Weekly - Wed 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM N/A - Online Jenessa Abrams