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  • Real Talk: Writing Intergenerational Dialogue // with Lyndsey Ellis

Real Talk: Writing Intergenerational Dialogue // with Lyndsey Ellis

  • 06 March 2024
  • 02 April 2024
  • Online


  • $170 member price with $20 2023 POW coupon applied.
  • $200 Non-Member price with $20 2023 POW coupon applied.


This course sheds light on how we, as writers, can capture nuances in the conversations between a grandparent and a child, a teacher and a student, a new-hire and a retiree, or any characters from cross-generational settings in our stories.

Every generation has its own slang, phrases, attitudes, and belief systems that stem from values specific to our age groups.

Exploring these differences helps us better understand ourselves and each other as our life experiences intersect.

Through this course, participants will:

  • Learn to identify nuances between generations that impact our perspectives and behaviors.
  • Explore commonalities and differences between generations through dialogue in several written texts.
  • Find new ways of infusing intergenerational dialogue into their craft.

Week by week:

Week 1

  • An overview of intergenerational dialogue
  • Icebreaker - Role play exercise
  • Reading and Discussion (excerpt from Gloria Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place)
  • In-class Writing Exercise - focus on one-on-one intergenerational conversation
  • Voluntary Workshare

Week 2

  • Recap of Week 1
  • Icebreaker - Related radio clip
  • Reading and Discussion  (excerpt from Gabriel Garcia Marquez' 100 Years of Solitude)
  • In-class Writing Exercise - focus on group dialogue between multiple generations
  • Voluntary Workshare

Week 3

  • Recap of Week 2
  • Icebreaker - Related video clip
  • Reading and Discussion (excerpt from Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club)
  • In-class Writing Exercise - focus on family and conflict in dialogue
  • Voluntary Workshare

Week 4

  • Recap of Week 3
  • Icebreaker - Mindfulness exercise
  • Reading and Discussion (excerpt from Toni Cade Bambara's Gorilla, My Love)
  • In-class Writing Exercise - focus on youth and POV in dialogue
  • Voluntary Workshare
  • Debrief/Q&A

Who Should Take This Class:

This 4-week class is most beneficial for writers who want to learn new ways of infusing cross-generational relationships in their work.


The class will primarily use Zoom meetings, though other resources and conversation may be suggested using the Wet Ink platform.  

The Zoom meetings are proposed for Wednesday evenings from 7p to 9p ET on 3/6, 3/13, 3/20 and 3/27 and will be recorded for students who must miss a class meeting.

About the instructor:

Lyndsey Ellis is a writer and teaching artist passionate about exploring intergenerational trauma and resilience. Her work has appeared in Literary Hub, Kweli Journal, Catapult, The Rumpus, Joyland, and Electric Literature. She has led creative writing workshops for The Loft Literary Center, Gotham Writers, California Writers Club-Berkeley Branch and midnight & indigo, with a focus on craft, publication, and cross-arts collaboration. Ellis is currently an organizer and teaching artist for Plain Talk: Intergenerational Voices of St. Louis, a community enrichment workshop series that she received an artist support grant for from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.

“My debut novel, Bone Broth (Hidden Timber Books, 2021), is a deep dive into intergenerational relationships. The book unpacked the juxtaposing life experiences of multiple generations of Black women, mainly in relation to overlooked aspects of St. Louis history and civil rights activism.”

You can connect with Lyndsey in these places:

Website: www.lyndseyellis.com

FB: www.facebook.com/lyellis, www.facebook.com/BoneBrothNovel

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/lyndseyellis

IG: @lyelliswrites (www.instagram.com/lyelliswrites)

Twitter:  @lyellis

The Transformative Language Arts Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

1741 Valley Forge Road, #175, Worcester, PA 19490


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