Sara Kirschenbaum
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Tin House Summer Writer's Workshop 2012

Posted Friday, Jul 27th, 2012 at 1:02pm

I had the great experience of attending the Tin House conference this summer. It was my third time there. I followed the inimitable Ann Hood there after having such a productive workshop with her last summer in Maine. Here is Ann Hood reading in the beautiful outdoor amphitheater at Reed College where the conference was held.

Ann Hood

Here I am in the same spot with just a slightly smaller audience(not that you can tell from the photo)!


In this next photo you can see some of my workshop mates who came for dinner:


Here are some of the notes I took in various classes. I am sure they are not verbatim quotes but are just taken from my quick scribblings.

From a panel discussion called, "How We Write About Ourselves," with Steve Almond, Ann Hood, Stephan Elliot and Elissa Schappell.

From a talk on Performance by Dorothy Allison:

From our workshop classes with Ann Hood...she shared the following gems (Again, these are not exact quotes).

My biggest takeaway from the conference was the importance of a sure-footed narrator to tell the story. And now I'm rewriting the beginning of my memoir!


  1. Christina Wrote on Friday, Jul 27th, 2012 at 10:22pm

    Backstory is a crutch--I love it!!

  2. Deborah Dombrowski Wrote on Saturday, Jul 28th, 2012 at 5:39pm

    I love these two points:

    Every Story starts when things change, or are about to change.

    Every story is two stories – the one we see on the page and the one just below it. And the conclusion is when they collide.

    thanks for sharing, Sara!

  3. Teri~ Wrote on Sunday, Jul 29th, 2012 at 12:08pm

    Thank you for sharing this, Sara!

    My favorite is "Having a fiction writer at the table is like having an assassin."

    Love that~

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