Murky Waters: Writing about Family and Place

How should one approach the delicate and difficult matter of writing about those closest to you, the places closest to you? And how can we give ourselves permission to tell those stories, and perhaps more importantly, extricate ourselves enough so that we can see clearly enough to tell those stories with clarity, empathy, and culpability? We will walk through this process to give you the distance and curiosity you need to investigate the story of your family and/or where you’re from in a way that produces writing that is honest and fictive. In this generative workshop, we will respond to published stories and novel excerpts, look into our own histories, and use place and where we come from to prompt our writing.

Nina McConigley

Nina McConigley is the author of the story collection Cowboys and East Indians, which won the 2014 PEN Open Book Award and a High Plains Book Award. She was born in Singapore and grew up in Wyoming. Nina holds an MFA from the University of Houston and an MA from the University of Wyoming. She has been a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and held scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for The Best New American Voices. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Orion, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, and The Asian American Literary Review among others. She lives in Laramie, Wyoming and teaches at the University of Wyoming and at the MFA program at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

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