Camouflage: How to Write About Family and Survive


Families provide great material for writers but it can come at a cost. What are the ethical and psychological consequences for “outing” personal connections? When is it your story to tell? How do you negotiate stories with opposing versions? Lissa McLaughlin discusses how her family of origin still informs her work on the level of structure, metaphor, even pronoun choice. In a short exercise, participants are invited to camouflage some aspect of family (however they define this slippery term). Questions and concerns are encouraged.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the Madison Arts Commission, with additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Come at 6:30 and share a brownbag dinner with other writers. It's a great chance to meet other writers, trade writing tips, talk about favorite books, or even just browse our smALL Press Library. Craft talk begins at 7:00 PM.


Lissa McLaughlin prose poet Madison Wisconsin

Lissa McLaughlin has her M.A. in fiction writing from Brown University. Four of her books (the latest in 2015) were published by Burning Deck Press in Providence. Lissa has taught fiction writing at The Rhode Island School of Design, San Francisco State University, University of California-Berkeley Extension, and UW-Madison. Currently she works in McFarland as an expressive arts facilitator with children with autism. She also edits short fiction, novels, and work for young audiences.


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Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.


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