Course Catalog

The Other Side of Fire: Writing the Trauma Essay

Introductory | Writing can be healing. But writing can also re-traumatize, making it difficult to tell the stories that shape us. In this workshop, writers gain an understanding of how the physiological processes of trauma interact with a writing practice. Drawing on published essays and in-class prompts, we’ll explore craft challenges specific to trauma, including fragmentation of memory, the temptation of melodrama, elevating a personal story into a universal inquiry, and the beauty of owning our complicated, contradictory selves on the page.

Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom.

If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle.

If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform.

If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.

Instructor: Katherine E. Standefer

Class Type: 2 Sessions

Start Date: 07/07/2018

End Date: 07/08/2018

Days of the Week: Saturday, Sunday

Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm PDT

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$265.50 Member Price:
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$295.00 General Price:

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Katherine E. Standefer

Katherine Standefer is the author of Lightning Flowers: My Journey To Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life (Little, Brown Spark), which was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice/Staff Pick and the November 2020 Group Text Pick. Named one of O, The Oprah Magazine's Best Books of Fall 2020, Lightning Flowers was also shortlisted for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Prize from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, named one of Kirkus's Best 100 Nonfiction Books of 2020, and featured in People Magazine, on NPR's Fresh Air, and the goop podcast. Her previous writing appeared in The Best American Essays 2016 and won the 2015 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction. She was a 2017 Marion Weber Healing Arts Fellow at the Mesa Refuge, a 2018 Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good, and a 2018 writer-in-residence at Jentel Arts. Standefer earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona and teaches for Ashland University's Low-Residency MFA. As a trauma writing doula, she helps writers birth difficult and important stories of the body. She lives on a piñon- and juniper-studded mesa in New Mexico with her chickens.

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