View the archive of my two-hour class and discover Five Things I’ve Learned about the differences between real life families and the ones we invent – and how a writer might take experiences from life and transform them into fiction.

Hello everybody, I’m Meg Wolitzer, and I’d like to invite you to my class, Five Things I’ve Learned About Writing About Family.

I’ve been writing and publishing novels since I graduated from college, and over the decades since then I don’t think I’ve written a single book that isn’t in some significant way about family.

I think the word family is pretty elastic. We understand it to mean the people we’re related to, or live with, or even sometimes the people we feel closest to. Writers talk a lot about character, and of course that’s a central topic. I’ve always felt, though, that the act of putting characters who are deeply connected to one another together on the page can give a writer an opportunity to create exciting and dynamic fiction.

If you’ve ever been in a family of some kind, then you know that the moments you spend with them can be peppered with interesting and unexpected bursts of emotion, tension, revelation, or even crisis.

We’ll be talking about all of that. How something might happen in real life, and how it might happen on the page. What’s different between real life families and the ones we invent. How a writer might take experiences from life and transform them into fiction.

And we’ll also be doing a couple of short exercises in advance, and I’ll have a chance to read some of them aloud during the class and respond to what you’ve written.

So whether you’re someone who wants to write, or who loves to read, or who thinks their own family sometimes feels a little bit like people in a short story or even a novel, I think you’ll find something here for you.

And I should add that I’m definitely going to leave time at the end to answer some of your pressing questions about craft, story, character, dialogue, humor, anything you like.

I’m really excited about this class, and I hope you can join me.

– Meg Wolitzer