Unleashing Your Hardest Truths & Most Striking Images Through Constraints, Juxtaposition & Play

Session

When

to

Where

Heritage E

Session format

Breakout session

Description

Writing about painful and traumatic experiences in a way that engages, transforms, and inspires readers (and you, the writer!) is especially challenging. But entering into the material through an unexpected "side door" can make all the difference. Prompts and constraints in the style of the French surrealists and the renowned Oulipo ("workshop of potential literature") can breathe life into your writing and unleash your fierce original voice. You'll find yourself asking in wonder and delight, "Where did that come from?!" These methods are universally effective for producing startlingly vivid and original imagery, while at the same time offering especially powerful benefits when writing about trauma. 

Post-Conference Materials

Download Slides [PDF]

Session topics

  • Essays
  • Memoir
  • Structure & Form
  • Writing Technique & Craft

Presenters

  • Jeannine Ouellette

    Pronouns: she/her
    Artistic Director, Elephant Rock

    Jeannine Ouellette is the author of the The Part That Burns (Split/Lip Press, 2021), which was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award in Women's Literature, received a starred review from Kirkus, was hailed by the Rumpus as a book to read in 2021, and praised by Dorothy Allison as...