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Mothers & Daughters: 

Women Writing About the Women Who Shaped Them

May 15 and 16

2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific)

“I knew then that no matter how hard you tried, no matter how many jars of honey you threw, no matter how much you thought you could leave your mother behind, she would never disappear from the tender places in you.”

—Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

 

Within every woman beats the heart of her mother. From the moment of conception, the holy mess of birth, the hush of remembering generations before, this relationship lives and breathes with gratitude, pain, comfort, anguish, forgiveness, brilliance, resentment and love.

 

Maya Angelou wrote, “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.”

 

And Alice Hoffman said, “Even as a small child, I understood that women had secrets, and that some of these were only to be told to daughters. In this way we were bound together for eternity.”

 

Your mother’s story shaped you, just as you have shaped your daughter’s. What are the threads passed down through the tender and fierce lineage of women in your family? What do you want to pass down as a writer and person?

In honor of Mother’s Day, our weekend Mothers and Daughters class is for every woman who wants to explore this special relationship or collaborate as part of a mother/daughter team.

In your personal life, knowing and understanding your relationship with your mom or daughter can give you essential clues to who you are. And as a writer, this deeply intimate relationship is filled with creative potential.

 

Almost every woman who crafts a memoir will write at some point about her mother or daughter. In poetry, this relationship offers endless inspiration. And in novels and

screenplays, mother-daughter relationships often are central to creating fully formed characters.

Awakening new insights, working out personal feelings, exploring fresh ways to write within or about this core relationship...this class will make you a better writer, a better person, and a better mom/daughter yourself.

During the class, you'll discover...

  • Who are you as a mom or daughter?

  • How have you been shaped by the key women in your life?

  • How can you use the specifics of your own story in your memoir or fiction?

  • How can you bring your mom or daughter to life in your writing? How can you capture the essence of that relationship?

  • What are the joys and obstacles of writing as a mother/daughter team?

  • How do you maintain your individual voices and blend at the same time—in writing and in life?

  • What are some of the central themes of mother/daughter relationships that enrich your stories?

  • What are the emotional challenges and gifts of writing about mothers and daughters?

  • How can you know your mother better even if she has passed on, you’ve grown apart or you were given up for adoption?

  • How do you write about a mother or daughter who feels like a stranger? Or feels like a best friend?

  • How can you be a better mom, daughter, person, and writer?

 

The weekend will include plenty of writing prompts, Q&A and opportunities to share your writing within a creative and supportive community.

We encourage you to give this class to yourself, your mother or daughter as a gift for Mother’s Day. And we’re offering a special discount to mothers and daughters who sign up together.

Please note that having a daughter is not required! You may choose to write about your mother or other women in your ancestry, a daughter-in-law or even the daughter you never had.

Here’s how the week will unfold:

Saturday, May 15: Today’s class features two mother/daughter duos who have made their mark in writing and production. Legendary television writer and producer Marta F. Kauffman and her daughter Hannah Canter are a real-life creative team on the hit series Grace & Frankie and Marta’s company Okay Goodnight. And Carol Jenkins and her daughter Elizabeth Gardner Hines co-authored the book Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire. They’ll share their stories of collaboration, along with writing prompts about the conversations you had—and didn’t have—with your mother or daughter.

Sunday, May 16: Kristine Van Raden and Molly Davis, co-authors of Letters to Our Daughters (featured on Oprah), will lead a discussion on writing about and to your mother or daughter. And Alka Joshi, author of the New York Times bestseller The Henna Artist, will share an intimate look at getting to know her mother as the two traveled to their native India for Alka’s book research. These celebrated authors’ prompts will help you use writing as a tool for understanding, healing and celebrating one of the most essential relationships a woman can have.

Faculty

Registration fee for six hours of instruction:
$195 for an individual

$250 for a mother/daughter duo

May 15-16

DAYTIME CLASS

2 to 5 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific)

Please note: Our classes are designed specifically for live participation, so your
attendance is important. If you need to miss a class for any reason, though, you’ll receive
a passcode-protected link to watch the recordings after the course is over.

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