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  • How to Write About Life's Hard Stuff // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

How to Write About Life's Hard Stuff // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

  • 04 May 2024
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (CDT)
  • online


Registration is closed

This class focuses on the healing potential -- both in theory and practice -- of writing about challenges, losses, and brokenness in our lives.

How to Write About Life's Hard Stuff is being offered as a fundraiser—all proceeds will be donated to TLAN.

"These are the materials," Poet Adrienne Rich writes of life's "wreckage, dreck and waste" as well the moon rising over wreckage, dreck and waste. Whether writing poetry, fiction, memoir, or in other genres, your materials are key, especially when writing about something charged, painful or tender. To avoid spinning your wheels in the metaphorical mud, it's important to explore when and how to write about life's hard stuff, and to create enough perspective to aim yourself toward writing that's strong and transformative. By looking at how and when writing can be healing, examples of strong writing in several genres, and ways to further unfold your writing, you can better find your way into poetry, fiction, and memoir that draws from your more challenging life experiences.

Drawing on the theory and practice of therapeutic writing as well as research and experience on how to write toward greater lightness and freedom, we'll experiment with several short writing prompts and discuss applications and ramifications. Moreover, we'll consider how to listen to our bodies in how and when to write about losses, challenges, and moments of brokenness in our lives. This class is very focused on guiding ourselves by our full wisdom and discernment, and we'll talk about how to bring that better in focus as we write.

All participants will receive a packet of writing prompts, research and theory sources, and information on how to develop their own best prompts.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone who turns to writing to help them find greater healing and wholeness as well as people who facilitate writing classes or coaching or work as therapists, educators, or collaborative arts facilitators.


This is a one-time 2-hour session that focuses on the healing/therapeutic aspects of writing, especially in concert with when and when not to write about traumatic and stressful experiences. This class will be presented as a two-hour Zoom session and will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend live. 

Your Registration Fee is a Donation

Because this event is so generously being offered by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg as a fundraiser, your entire registration fee will go directly to support scholarships, program development, and other offerings meant to expand and enrich our community. You will be helping programs like:

  • Power of Words Scholarship Fund
  • Online Class Scholarship Fund
  • The Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg Fund (conference and online class support for both BIPOC people and people who are living with serious illness and/or disabilities.)
  • Supporting global programs to grow TLA around the world
  • Our forthcoming new podcast
  • Our blog and other publications

Registration Levels:

  • Level I – $200.00
  • Level II – $150.00
  • Level III – $75.00
  • Level IV – $50.00
We thank you. 

About the Facilitator

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, is the founder of Transformative Language Arts and the author of two dozen books. Her publications include How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems; Miriam's Well, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir.

A writing and right livelihood coach, working with people to bring what wants to be written and lived into being, Mirriam-Goldberg offers community writing workshops widely, and with Kelley Hunt, Brave Voice retreats. She also co-leads the Your Right Livelihood class and retreat with Kathryn Lorenzen, and the Art of Facilitation training with Joy Roulier Sawyer, with whom she also offers the annual Writing from the Soul retreat.

Born hard-wired to make something (in art, music, and especially writing), Caryn’s long-time callings include writing as a spiritual and ecological path, yoga, drawing, cultivating a loving marriage, family, and community, and helping herself and others make and take leaps into the miraculous work of their lives.

You can connect with Caryn at:





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