Writing Hard Stories: A Writing Workshop with Melanie Brooks


Three consecutive 90-minute workshops

Saturdays, April 13, 20, 27 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am (PST)

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Writing about difficult life circumstances—particularly experiences of health and illness— can help us to understand them in a more profound way. The process of re-entering those stories, taking them apart, and then putting them back together again on the writer’s own terms, can transform them into something deeply meaningful for both writer and reader. In this 3-part workshop, we will spend time looking at stories and prompts that can help patients, caregivers, and practitioners peel back the layers of their experiences. We will discuss the ways we can hold space for these kinds of stories as we practice narrative medicine and nurture a trusting and supportive workshop setting where participants feel at ease digging into the sometimes painful territory of health and illness narratives. Participants will have the opportunity to read, write, discuss, and give and receive feedback with Melanie and other participants.

Melanie Brooks is the author of the memoir A Hard Silence: One daughter remaps family, grief, and faith when HIV/AIDS changes it all (Vine Leaves Press, 2023) and Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma (Beacon Press, 2017) She teaches creative nonfiction in the M.F.A. program at Bay Path University and in the M.F.A. program at Western Connecticut State University and professional writing at Northeastern University. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast writing program and a Certificate in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. She has had numerous interviews and essays on topics ranging from loss and grief to parenting and aging published in the The Boston Globe, HuffPost, Yankee Magazine, Psychology Today, The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, and other notable publications. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two children (when they are home from university), and chocolate Lab.


Register for Writing Hard Stories

Three, consecutive, 90-minute workshops.
Saturdays, April 13, 20, 27 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am (PST)

*Financial assistance available for demonstrated need.

All meetings will be live on Zoom. Class is capped at 12. Sessions will not be recorded.