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“When we write what haunts us, we are apt to touch a similar nerve in our readers—a deep, universal need to understand.”

                        —Mary Casanova

In this class, we’ll explore the idea of writing that haunts us, that won’t let go, and how we can use this to better understand the stories we want to tell as well as decide when it’s best not to tell a particular story. We’ll discuss how to use this undeniable insistence and urge to tell our most difficult stories, and look at the haunted moment in the work of both new and established writers. What techniques do they employ in their writing and what can we learn from them to inform our own responses to the stories and experiences that we can’t seem to shake? And finally, we’ll give ourselves permission to write about whatever haunts us, whatever scares us—no matter how great or how small.

Through readings, discussion, and writing exercises, participants will discover methods for shaping stories out of what haunts and keeps returning to them. This half-day class will provide a safe, comfortable, and supportive space for writers at any level who are haunted by memories or experiences and are unsure of how to put them to the page.

Instructor Rob Williams says, “You’ll leave the class with the start to a new piece of writing—something you might have been afraid to start—as well as the confidence and tools for where to go next.”


About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes

Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, The Writing Salon is running all classes in a remote learning format. You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at hello@writingsalons.com.



    Rob Williams teaches Creative Writing and English at Skyline College and has led writing workshops at San Diego Writers Ink on flash fiction and creative nonfiction. His essays and fiction have appeared in Maisonneuve Magazine, Versal, 400 Words, San Diego Citybeat Magazine and various anthologies including I Do/I Don’t and Foolish Hearts. He is the co-editor of the Lambda Literary Award-nominated anthology From Boys to Men: Gay Men Write About Growing Up and has received writing fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Fishtrap. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and worked as a Poetry Reader for W. W. Norton in New York City.

  1. Live Zoom Meeting: Saturday, May 01, 2:00pm-5:00pm


Saturday, May 1, 2021
9:00 pm - 12:00 am PDT
Event Category:


Online (SF Zoom)
Live Remote Meetings, ZOOM


Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot offer refunds, credits, or makeup sessions for classes a student might miss.

In the event of an emergency, we may consider a refund or credit, whether partial or full. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you notify us as near as possible to the start date for the class.

Contact Us

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