Writing the Mother Wound Class ~ A Writing Our Lives Production



Dates: February 17, 24, March 3, 17, 24, 31

Time: 12-5pm

Location: West Village, NYC

Price: $600 (see below for information on payment plans and need-based scholarships)

Registration requirements: a nonrefundable $75 deposit is required to reserve your seat. This $75 is deducted from the $600 tuition.  

To register, ask questions, etc., send an email to: writingourlivesworkshop@gmail.com. 

Note: This class is capped at 12 students.


Class Synopsis:

If you grew up like me, you were taught that mother is the holiest of holy. She is a saint. She is the altar you are to sacrifice yourself at, again and again and again.

But what about those of us for whom mother is abyss?

What about those of us for whom wasn’t encouraging or supportive?

What about those of us for whom mother was (and still is) neglectful and abusive?

What about those of us who know mother did the best she could but the child you still didn’t get what she needed?

Have you wanted to write about your antagonistic relationship with your mother but don’t know how? Have you found it difficult to dig into these memories? Do you not know how to even begin?

Have you dealt with backlash when you dared to talk or write about your relationship with your mother? Were you told: solo hay una madre (there is only one mother), called ungrateful, treasonous, a traitor? Or have you imagined the scenario and been paralyzed by it? Have you internalized this shame?

I created this class for you.

In the Writing the Mother Wound class, we will look at how writers have written about the mother wound. We will read essays and poems, novel excerpts, memoirs and short stories. We will read excerpts of books by therapists and psychologists who’ve studied the longstanding effects of the mother wound and being the child of a narcissistic parent.

This is a multi-genre workshop. We will read fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

To be clear, this isn’t therapy. I am not a therapist. I am a writer who writes a great deal about her own mother wound, and has read obsessively about it in my own healing journey, so I know firsthand how difficult it is to broach this topic, and have found that reading the work of others who have dared to do so, has helped me write my own.


The goals of the class are:

* to read how other writers navigate and approach the mother wound through their writing;

* to look at this writing and discuss it through a critical lens;

* to use these writings as inspiration to write about our mother wounds;

* to work on freeing ourselves of the shame we carry over daring to want/need to write about our mothers and our relationships with our mothers in a realistic light;

* to share our writing in a safe space

* to find community in our work and understand that despite how isolating this journey can be (as writers, as folks who navigate “not ideal” relationships with their mothers), we are not alone in it…


Why did I create the Writing the Mother Wound Class?

Because it was in literature that I found answers to so many of the questions I had about having an antagonistic relationship with my mother.

Because researching and devouring stories about strained mother-daughter relationships helped me believe that I could write my story too.

Because I have amassed so much information and knowledge in my journey that I know it’s time to share what I’ve learned in reading these countless books and poems and essays and short stories and studies.

Because it was in reading that I found the term “unmothered”, a term that described what I was, how I existed unanchored in the world, and what that meant to me. Finding this made me realize I wasn’t alone in my suffering, and made me seek out the work of people like me.

Because when I came up with the idea, it dawned on me that this was evidence that I could make something beautiful of my suffering, and it made me weep.

Because I know that this class is what I have been working towards. I just didn’t know it. I know it now.


Financial Aid:

Tuition for the class is $600. Payment plans are available. If one is required, please send an email to writingourlivesworkshop@gmail.com.

Need-based, partial scholarships are also available. See below for details on how to apply.

There are also two scholarships available, funded by a Writing Our Lives repeat offender “who knows this class will change your writing and your life.”:

1. Scholarship of $300 for a VONA/Voices alum who:
* Is not traditionally educated (does not have nor is pursuing an MFA)
* Has not published a book with a major publisher

2. Scholarship of $300 for a single mother who would otherwise be unable to attend the workshop.

How to apply: 

Send a letter detailing:
* which class and scholarship you are applying to,
* how you are qualified for the scholarship,
* your financial need—i.e. unemployed, underemployed, etc.
* why you think you need this class, what you expect to gain from it, and why you think you are deserving of the scholarship beyond your financial need.

Send the letter with “Writing Our Lives Scholarship” in the subject line to: writingourlivesworkshop@gmail.com. (Note: First dibs on scholarships go to students who have not received a scholarship in the past.)


Vanessa Mártir headshot

About the facilitator:

Vanessa Mártir is a NYC based writer, educator and mama. She is currently completing her memoir, A Dim Capacity for Wings, and chronicles the journey at vanessamartir.blog. A five-time VONA/Voices and two-time Tin House fellow, Vanessa’s work has appeared in The Butter, Smokelong Quarterly, Kweli Journal, As/Us Journal and the VONA/Voices Anthology, Dismantle, among others. She has essays forthcoming in Not That Bad, edited by Roxane Gay, and Connections: An Integrated Reader and Rhetoric for College Writing, edited by Kerry Beckford and Donald Jones. Vanessa is the founder of the #52essays2017 challenge, and creator of the Writing Our Lives Workshop, which she teaches in NYC and online. When she’s not writing, you can find her either on the dance floor, in a gym punching a bag or in the woods hugging a tree. Find out more about her relentless hustle on vanessamartir.com.


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