Writing the Taboo in Memoir: Bring Your Most Vulnerable Stories to Life

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm Eastern

Level All Levels

Topics like mental illness, sex, and violence are often branded “taboo” and can be some of the most difficult material to write about. But at their best, these narratives speak to our darkest truths and teach us what it means to be vulnerable.


Additional Information

Even the most stigmatized topics can be made approachable if you know how to pull the reader in and give your story universal resonance. No matter how difficult the subject matter, memoirists can keep readers engaged by using craft techniques like worldbuilding, identifying universal truths, and exercising narrative control.

This webinar will explore the challenges and opportunities of writing honestly about taboo topics. We’ll discuss why it’s so important to give voice to unsayable truths, and how to use craft tools to create unforgettable memoirs and essays. We’ll also address self-care strategies, how to know when material is “too” explicit, and how and when to exercise narrative restraint.

In this webinar, you will:

  • EXPLORE why certain topics are considered “taboo” in personal narratives, and why you should write about them anyway.
  • LEARN craft tools for making such stories feel resonant to the masses, including worldbuilding, identifying universal truths, and exercising narrative control.
  • ADDRESS the practical challenges of writing about taboo topics, including developing self-care strategies, knowing when material is “too” explicit, and understanding how to use narrative restraint.

There will be time for a Q & A at the end of the presentation.

This webinar is ideal for a memoirist or personal essayist who is tackling topics often considered taboo or stigmatized in society. Examples of these kinds of topics include mental illness, sex, and violence.

All registrants receive a recording.

To request closed captioning, please email [email protected].

Course Presenter

Course Registration


Out of stock

Become a Supporting Subscriber today and get up to 10% off your purchase.

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