creative writing, hermit crab essay, writing about grief

Tips for writing about trauma and loss

Thank you to everyone who watched the free webinar Rachel Thompson and I hosted on Thursday on how to write about trauma and loss. So many of you turned in live, asked questions, and shared difficult personal stories.

It was a powerful, moving experience for me to be a part of.

If you didn’t catch the webinar live, I wanted to give you a chance to watch the free replay. You can sign up to view it here but be sure to watch it soon — the replay will only available until April 27.

In the webinar Rachel and I talk about:

  • Tricks for moving past fear when approaching vulnerable material
  • Common experiences to be ready for as you write about trauma and grief
  • How to shift from early “processing” drafts to writing for an audience

One of my suggestions for easing in to a story of trauma or loss is to try the hermit crab essay — a form that uses the structure of a “found” form (a legal document, form letter, course syllabus) as a “shell” to contain a vulnerable personal narrative.

In the webinar I shared this incredible example, Drug Facts by Lauren Trembath-Neuberg, as inspiration for what a writer can do with this powerful storytelling structure.

Thank you again for tuning into our webinar, which affirmed for me just how important it is to write and share our stories — especially the hard ones.

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