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Writing Workshops

On Writing Grief: A Weekend of Writing with Diane Zinna


2 Sessions

Out of stock

Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT April 22 to April 23, 2023

Online via Zoom

I have come to believe that if you can write grief as you truly experienced it, you can write anything. During this warm and intensive two-day course, we’ll explore entranceways into grief stories and ways to end them meaningfully, even if we haven’t found closure for similar experiences. We’ll also look at how sound and structure can be used to communicate feeling; what constitutes change in a grief story; consider new ideas on sentimentality and reader resistance; and learn ways to care for ourselves as we tell these important stories. Each day we’ll write in response to some imaginative portals for grief writing and make space for some to share their work with the group for supportive feedback. Together, we’ll discover what it means to give language to a feeling of grief that hasn’t been expressed before.

Course Outline

We’ll discuss:

  • What helps when writing grief?
  • Special ways to workshop grief stories
  • Grief writing structures
  • Showing change in a grief story
  • Showing grief through the body, objects, and nature
  • Writing long-term grief
  • Ideas on sentimentality and distance

Capacity: 20


Led by

  • Diane Headshot 2 - Diane Zinna

    Diane Zinna

    Diane Zinna

    Diane Zinna is the author of The All-Night Sun (Random House, 2020) which was longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Cabell First Novelist Award. Her craft book, Letting Grief Speak, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. She received her MFA from the University of Florida and was the longtime membership director for AWP, The Association of Writers & Writing Programs. There, she created the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, helping to match more than six hundred writers over twelve seasons. She is also the creator of Grief Writing Sundays, a free, popular writing class on telling difficult stories that has met every week since the start of the pandemic. Diane is the recipient of an ArtsFairfax Artist Grant and served as the Fall 2022 Darden Professor of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University. Her work has appeared at Electric Literature, LiteraryHub, Brevity, Monkeybicycle, and Eat, Darling, Eat. Diane lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband, daughter, and doodle.