Trauma & Truth-Telling in Memoir: The Rewards & Risks of Revealing Secrets

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm Eastern

Level All Levels

How to overcome your fear and own your story.



Additional Information

It takes tremendous courage and resilience to write the compelling truth behind family secrets or traumatic events. How do you present disturbing revelations with nuance, emotional depth, and understanding while avoiding diatribes and self-pity? How do you commit to a sustained narrative and ongoing research while still feeling raw and facing retriggered trauma? How do you overcome fears of libel, shunning, threats, and relationship breaks?

This webinar will offer strategies and support for handling such challenges through every stage of the writing process. Drawing on the opposition and criticisms Heather faced while writing her incest memoir No Letter in Your Pocket, she will reveal how she overcame vicious responses and deeply entrenched blame-the-victim attitudes, even from supposed allies. This webinar will provide a strong boost of confidence and encouragement to anyone questioning how, when, or whether, they should start or continue with an unsettling story that casts doubt on any family or public “hero,” rattles the status quo, and debunks other versions of events.

In this webinar, you will:

  • GAIN ways to cure writer’s block and transform raw pain and fear into a powerful story with universal themes.
  • LEARN how to manage self-care and emotional vulnerability as you write.
  • IDENTIFY ways to make your healing/transformational/spiritual journey concrete and accessible to any reader.
  • DISCOVER ethical ways to handle any detractors or deniers, whether family members, colleagues, or powerful community members.

This webinar is ideal for all writers working on a memoir that addresses trauma, family secrets, or similar challenging topics.

All registrants receive a recording.

Closed captioning will be available.

Course Presenter

Course Registration


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Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

Read Success Stories


I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill