Joy, Grief, Love: Writing Big Emotions

Joy, Grief, Love: Writing Big Emotions

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Writers sometimes struggle to communicate big emotions—especially positive ones, like joy and love—without engaging in overly sentimental, greeting card-style language. But why (or when) is sentimentality actually a problem in writing? What are the clues that a piece of writing has tipped into a kind of untoward sentimentality or maudlin melodrama? How can writers avoid the common pitfalls of superficial sentimentality in their work? In this workshop, we will examine a variety of writing samples in several genres in order to generate a set of guidelines around writing big emotions without tilting into melodrama, followed by an opportunity to practice using the guidelines in our own writing.

  • Instructor: Melissa Jean
  • Length of workshop: 3 hours
  • Date: Sat., Mar. 17
  • Time: 2 - 5 p.m.
  • Location: Refinery Nashville
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About the Instructor:

Melissa Jean is an Assistant Professor in the Mindfulness Studies masters’ program at Lesley University, where she also works as an Interdisciplinary Studies facilitator for Creative Writing MFA students. She teaches courses in academic writing, creative writing, and research methods. She received an MFA in Fiction Writing from Lesley, and a PhD in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management from Utah State University. Her writing has appeared in The Colorado Review and a variety of online journals, including most recently Junoesq and Causeway Lit.