Writing the Wound // Webinar

Transforming Pain into Prose

Writing the Wound // Webinar

In the process of writing our most painful stories, it’s easy to become paralyzed with fear, shame, and anxiety.

It’s hard enough to get the experiences on the page, and now you’re supposed to also be able to transform them into literature? Using the Spanish concept of duende—an artistic soulfulness that’s often linked to darkness—as a jumping off point, this webinar will give you fresh insights into writing about trauma in ways that can help you create profound connections with readers.

Like trauma, duende is associated with death, the body, and a heightened state of emotion. As a creative force, it encourages us to embrace our inner darkness and replicate what unsettles us about our memories on the page. We’ll look at examples of “the uncanny”—in Freudian theory, that which is strangely familiar. By approaching our writing with these ideas in mind, we can excavate the images trapped within us, and use them to create gripping narratives that have lasting emotional resonance with readers.

We’ll also examine art ranging from Spanish flamenco to Kendrick Lamar to the work of well-known creative nonfiction authors such as Lidia Yuknavitch. We’ll discuss the value of writing about trauma and identify where we get stuck as writers. You’ll walk away with inspiration, craft tips, and strategies for bypassing these sticking points.

In this webinar, you will:

  • DEFINE the concept of duende in art and explore how it can provide inspiration and a fresh approach to writing about trauma
  • DISCOVER craft tips that will help you create gripping narratives that resonate emotionally with readers
  • IDENTIFY the places where you get stuck trying to put your most painful stories on the page and develop effective ways to move past these hurdles

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

This webinar is for writers of any level who want new ways into writing about difficult or traumatic experiences.


Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

2 pm - 3 pm Eastern Time

Advance registration required.
Space is limited.
To request closed-captioning, email Lloyd@creativenonfiction.org.

$15 if registered by 2/21/2021
$25 if registered after 2/21/2021

Registration will close 24 hours before the event.

A recording of the webinar will be sent out to all registrants three business days after the event.

PLEASE NOTE: It may take a little while for us to process your order and send you the link to the webinar. If you haven't received the link by the morning of the date of the webinar, please email us at information@creativenonfiction.org.


About the instructor: Sarah Kasbeer is the author of the essay collection A Woman, a Plan, an Outline of a Man, named a most anticipated book by The Millions and Refinery29. Her essays and criticism have appeared in Creative NonfictionThe Cut ElleDissentGuernicaLongreads, The Normal SchoolThe Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her work has received notable mention by the Best American Essays and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is a features editor at The Rumpus and has contributed to Fanzine’s “In Search of Duende” column. Born and raised in Illinois, she currently lives in New York.    


Questions? Please call us at 412-404-2975 or email the director of education, Sharla Yates, at yates@creativenonfiction.org.