writing class radio
About This Show
Writing Class Radio is for people who love stories and who get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and who wants to learn a little bit about how to write their own stories. You'll hear students write their way to the truth. And you'll hear students trying to deal as we follow them outside of class and into their real lives. Plus you'll hear all the juicy stuff that happens in writing class---resistance, crying, break-throughs, connection. There's no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and telling our stories. Everyone has a story. What's yours?
Most Recent Episode
Episode 22: Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes Feels Impossible Right Now
Andrea Askowitz is the host of this episode. She talks about how writing a good story and understanding the results of this presidential election require a mammoth effort in understanding someone else’s point of view, an effort she is failing at right now. She interviews Stephen Elliott, who is the author of seven books and two movies and the founder and senior editor at The Rumpus, about the job of a memoir writer.
Stephen says that in literature, memoir and in life there are no bad guys. “Everybody is part hero and part villain. Most people know that intuitively. But sometimes in our writing we get so angry at somebody that we decide to portray them as strictly a villain. And we forget that somebody loves them. That they’re capable of love. That they do good things. We don’t look for the reasons why they do what they do. We paint them as evil and that’s just never an accurate portrayal of anybody, so it comes off as false because you’re not really exploring that person’s character.”
It is our job, according to Stephen, to strive for honesty, which is not someplace you arrive at, but a constant quest.
To get her students closer to the real truth, Andrea had them write from another person’s point of view or to put themselves in another person’s position. Chaplin tries to understand his dad by writing about a time they worked the same difficult job. Allison Langer also tries to understand her ex-boyfriend Gerald by writing letters in Gerald’s voice.
Andrea and Allison have a conversation about a time recently when Allison stepped into someone else’s shoes. She was teaching a writing class and felt challenged by one of the students. Allison was able, in the moment, to realize that the student probably just needed to be known as someone more than the way she appeared. Andrea on the other hand, has been struggling for months to put herself in her friend, Esther’s shoes. Esther spent the months leading up to the election spewing vitriol against Hillary Clinton, including arguments professing women’s inferiority. Andrea knows that to tell an honest story, she has to be able to really understand Esther’s motivations. But she’s not sure she can. Certainly not now.
Yaddyra Peralta, a new student in Writing Class Radio, does the hard work in figuring out why her brother, who hurt her, did what he did.
We’re running a contest and we want your story. Here’s the prompt: A TIME YOU FUCKED UP. Write 1,200 words or fewer and e
Rated 5 out of
Funny, smart and creative
if you like storytelling you'll love this show. Andrea Askowitz is a funny woman. The show follows the students and their stories they write while in Andrea's writing class
Date published: 2015-11-19