In this interactive brown-bag lunch & learn from memoirist Sharon Harrigan, learn about “Writing About Family—How To and (Especially) How Not To.” This event will be free and open to the public. Bring your lunch if you wish! This event is cosponsored by WriterHouse, a nonprofit in Charlottesville dedicated to encouraging the development of writers of all levels in the community.
Philip Lopate advises creative nonfiction writers to “try to come from a large family.” Because, after your family members see what you write about them, “you are bound to lose a few.” Ann Hood says, “Write as if you’re an orphan.” Those pieces of advice make writing about real people seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. In this talk, Sharon Harrigan will discuss how to write honestly and authentically, yet fairly and ethically at the same time. She’ll give strategies for how to manage the possible fall-out, and she’ll show how telling our stories can actually increase understanding, empathy, and intimacy.
Sharon Harrigan is the author of Playing with Dynamite: A Memoir (Truman State University Press, 2017). She has published more than 50 essays, short stories, and reviews in The New York Times (“Modern Love” column), Virginia Quarterly Review, Narrative, Real Simple, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in creative writing and has taught at WriterHouse since 2012. She lives in Charlottesville with her husband, kids, and dog.