Writing the Mother Wound Two-Day In-Person Intensive in NYC with Vanessa Mártir


Dates: November 23rd & December 7th, 2019 (both Saturdays)
Time: 12pm-6pm
Place: Upper East Side, NYC
Price: $300 (non refundable deposit of $50 required to reserve your seat) — Scholarships and Payment Plans are available. See below for more information.  

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 who have had fraught relationships with our mothers? 

What about those of us for whom mother 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 intensive, we will:

  • Answer the question: What is the mother wound? 
  • Consider the work of therapists, psychologists, etc who’ve studied the longstanding effects of the mother wound and being the child of a narcissistic parent.
  • Examine how writers have written about the mother wound in various genres including essays, poems, novels, memoirs and short stories. 

The goals of the class are to: 

  • Read how other writers navigate and approach the mother wound through their writing;
  • Look at this writing and discuss it through a critical lens;
  • Use these writings as inspiration to write about our mother wounds;
  • 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;
  • Share our writing in a safe space. 
  • 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… 

Thinking about registering. Here are a few things you should know before you register: 

  • This class is capped at 18 students. It will fill up quickly so reserve your seat soon.
  • This class is open to everyone, but privileges women of color, the stories and work of women of color, the lives and experiences of women of color. 
  • This class is intended for writers. You do not have to be published, but you do have to have an understanding of what goes into writing, the process of writing, etc. 
  • This class is not therapy and should not be taken in lieu of therapy. While writing can be part of the healing journey, it cannot be everything. Writing is work. I am not a therapist. I am a writer and an educator. 
  • I created this class to help guide and assist writers in writing about their mother wound(s) by examining how writers have written about the mother wound in various genres. I can give you guided writing prompts to coax you along, but I cannot heal you. 
  • This class will not heal you. Healing is a journey and something only you can decide to embark on. Writing can be part of that journey, but not the whole of it. 


Why did I create the Writing the Mother Wound Intensive Class?

This is a condensed version of the multi-week online and in person class I launched in 2018. I created 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, poems, essays, short stories and studies. 

Because it was in reading that I found the term “unmothered”, a term that describes how I’ve felt since I left my mother’s home at 13 and never moved back; how I’ve existed unanchored in the world; and what that’s meant to me. Finding the term 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.

Because I know now that I’ve been unconsciously working towards this class for a long time.

Because I know now that this is my life’s work. 


Financial Aid Information: 

Payment plans are available upon request. There are also, three partial, need-based scholarships (of $150) available.

A scholarship for a parent of color who fits the following criteria: is a woman or non-binary person of color; is a single parent; is unemployed or underemployed, and can not afford the intensive otherwise. 

A scholarship for an unmothered person. People define “unmothered” in different ways, but for me it includes someone whose mother isn’t consistently in their lives and hasn’t been in some time; they feel unanchored in the world without that foundation; someone who has had to mother themselves because their mom isn’t emotionally able or available to mother.

Scholarship for a writer who is not traditionally educated. This means the writer may not have nor is pursuing an MFA, and/or does not have a high school diploma and/or an undergraduate degree. To qualify, the writer must not have published a book with a major publisher.

How to apply for a scholarship: Send a letter detailing the following:

  • Which scholarship you are applying for.
  • How you are qualified for the scholarship;
  • Explain 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 the Mother Wound Scholarship” in the subject line to: writingourlivesworkshop@gmail.com. (Note: Priority goes to students who have not received a Writing Our Lives scholarship in the past.)

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