Finding Connection and Healing through Fiction and Film

February 15, 2022


Not just the act of reading fiction, or watching a film, but bonding with others over the same works—or creating our own—are, for many of us, a path to seeing ourselves more clearly, healing from trauma, and finding community. This workshop will feature prompt-based writing and sharing.

In NWNMC’s February Community of Practice event, Portland author and longtime writing workshop facilitator Stacy Brewster offers up one of his short stories—“Suicide Watch”—as a way to talk about fiction and film and how they sometimes see us better than we’re ready to see ourselves. Even when we’re intellectually prepared to work through past trauma, pieces of fiction or narrative filmmaking can alight something in us, hitting us at just the right moment in time to help move us from head to heart, embody something difficult, and move through it.

Such is the case for the protagonist in “Suicide Watch,” one of three connected stories in Stacy’s recently published collection of short stories WHAT WE PICK UP. In this story, a closeted college sophomore at N.Y.U. in the early 1990s is trying to write an essay for his Southern Lit class, ruminating about past trauma and suicide, and how to come out as gay, then going on a chance outing to see an important piece of queer independent film that helps him move through his present pain.

Through prompt-based writing exercises, sharing, and discussion of the story, we’ll explore ways to connect with others and build community, and healing, through our shared love of creating (and consuming) works of art, fiction, or film. We’ll explore ways to fictionalize personal experience, and how the act of editing and revision can help us see the truth of our experience and connect with others.

SPECIAL NOTE: In preparation for this workshop, please read Stacy’s short story “Suicide Watch” from his book What We Pick Up (Buckman Publishing, 2021). A link to the story PDF will be provided upon registering for the event. Please note that this story contains discussion of suicide and suicide ideation.

Facilitator Bio

STACY BREWSTER is a Portland, Oregon-based fiction writer, poet, and screenwriter and the author of the short story collection WHAT WE PICK UP (Buckman Publishing, 2021). Born in Los Angeles and raised both there and in the San Francisco Bay Area, Stacy studied filmmaking in New York and has since worked in television, independent film, advertising, publishing, politics, and public service. His fiction and poetry have appeared in NEW SOUTH, THE MADISON REVIEW, GERTRUDE, PLENITUDE, BUCKMXN JOURNAL, and THE GAY & LESBIAN REVIEW WORLDWIDE, among numerous others. He was awarded the 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Drama for his teleplay GARGOYLES & DANDELIONS, an as-yet-unproduced one-hour queer noir series set in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. He is currently adapting several of his short stories for television.

What We Pick Up is available for purchase in print, ebook, and audiobook at the Buckman Publishing website here.

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Event Details

February 15, 2022
6:00 - 7:30 pm