S114. The Drama of Writing Trauma: Female Essayists on Tackling the Tough Topics

Room 006A, Henry B. González Convention Center, River Level
Saturday, March 7, 2020
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Writing nonfiction about trauma speaks the unspeakable, voices stories that have historically been silenced, and removes victim stigma. Trauma writing can heal, but can also re-traumatize, and women especially bear the burden of narrating their own victimhood. How can writers bring these narratives into the world yet protect themselves? What are the risks? The rewards? In this panel, five women will discuss their struggles and strategies for writing on trauma.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2020_panel_outline-the_drama_of_writing_trauma.docx



Emma Faesi Hudelson is a PhD candidate in literary nonfiction at the University of Cincinnati. Her work appears in Bust, Foglifter, the Nasiona, The Rumpus, and other publications. Her essays have been finalists in the 2017 International Literary Awards and Creative Nonfiction's Spring 2018 Contest.

Emily Heiden's work has appeared in the Washington Post, Brevity magazine, and Literary Hub. She will be published in the anthology Don't Look Now: Essays on What We Wish We Hadn't Seen. She holds an MFA in nonfiction from George Mason University.

Kristen Iversen's work includes the books Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats; Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth; and Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction. She teaches at University of Cincinnati and is literary nonfiction editor of the Cincinnati Review.

Dr. Kimberly Mack is a memoirist, music journalist, and tenure-track assistant professor of African American literature and culture. She is at work on her book-length memoir, I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Black Girl’s Musical Journey across America’s Great Racial and Class Divide.

Rajpreet Heir is a writer based in New York who works for TED Conferences. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic, Brevity, Cosmopolitan, the Washington Post, the Collagist, Lit Hub, the Normal School, and the New York Times. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from George Mason University.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center