As children we learn to make sense of the world through sensory detail, articulating raw experience for the first time in ways that are often unencumbered by the limitations imposed by adult language. This means that childhood perceptions can offer insight into what may be otherwise unsayable. As adult writers, the trick to mining our own early memories is to get out of the way and let the childhood voice emerge on its own terms. In this workshop, we will examine the work of writers who have written successfully from the child’s point of view, including Maya Angelou, Jo Ann Beard, Annie Dillard, Mary Karr, and Tobias Wolff. Through generative in-class writing exercises, we will practice strategies for writing from a child’s perspective. We will leave with insights into writing about childhood to fuel our current projects, as well as exercises that can be completed later.
Note: This class is scheduled to take place in person at Porch HQ. You must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate, and we will enroll a maximum of 10 participants. Masks are not required at this time, though we will revisit this policy as needed. Check our website and this listing for details before you attend class.
Jane Marcellus’s essays have appeared in the Washington Post,Gettysburg Review, Sycamore Review, Hippocampus, Chapter 16 and elsewhere. In 2018, she received the New Ohio Review Editor’s Prize for non-fiction. Best American Essays listed her work as “Notable” in 2018, 2019, and 2020. A former professor at MTSU, she now works as a freelance writer and editor. She can be found at janemarcellus.com.
Jane is new to The Porch. Welcome!