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Writing Real Sex 4-Week Zoom Seminar, Starts Tuesday, July 9th, 2024
Regular price
2.078,00 kr

Writing Real Sex 4-Week Zoom Seminar, Starts Tuesday, July 9th, 2024


Unit price per

Begins Tuesday, July 9th, 2024

Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Tuesdays, 7:00PM EST - 9:00PM EST.

Now Enrolling!

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Led by Sarah Hosseini, who has written reported features and essays for The Atlantic, CNN, Harper’s Bazaar, The Washington Post, among other publications. She also delivered a TEDx talk, “Not Sorry,” on the stage in New Delhi, India, encouraging women to use their unapologetic voices.

Learn more about Sarah in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.

During our four weeks together, we'll honor each other's writing journey and hold space for the possibilities that can come from putting your voice and words out there.

One of the first pieces I ever wrote about sex “went viral.” It was a personal essay for the parenting publication Scary Mommy. Other major publications like Cosmopolitan, HuffPost, etc picked it up. The story chronicled my journey from being a sex-enthused teenager and young adult, to an exhausted mother of two with a non-existent libido. While the writing was very green, I learned a lot from the experience of writing about sex and taboo topics: open relationships, hall passes, struggling libidos, and asexuality.

Historically, women have been effectively shut out of stories about their own sexuality due to shame, taboos, and silencing. Of course, this is even more true for Black women, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+, and women who are disabled. We are told it’s inappropriate, it’s best to keep it private, it’s over-sharing, it’s too dark, too gross, too arousing--or even that is being used by the writer to get attention. But putting language to sex and getting it as close as possible to the corporeal experience is vital. It’s also imperative to literature.

Through a series of writing prompts and exercises, we will attempt to release any implicit or residual shame baked into our psyches surrounding sex. We’ll also employ poetry techniques to get as close to the sensory experience of sex as possible.

Lastly, due to the nature of sex writing and respecting everyone’s comfort level, there will be no submissions shared with other workshop participants. However, students may submit one sex-focused pitch OR one sex-focused excerpt (one-page max) to the instructor and receive brief written feedback.

Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from our private class page.

COURSE READINGS & EXCERPTS

*Note: Suggested course reading is not compulsory or required to participate fully in the course.

  • Why Is It So Hard for Women to Write About Sex? by Claire Dederer
  • On Craft, Rhythm, and Writing About Sex by Megan Pillow 
  • Love all the Way by Erin Clark
  • Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body - Roxane Gay
  • Love Warrior: A Memoir - Glennon Doyle
  • The Kiss: A Memoir - Kathryn Harrison
  • Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape - Peggy Orenstein
  • Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity - Peggy Orenstein
  • Intercourse - Andrea Dworkin
  • Mating in Captivity - Esther Perel
  • A Love Song for Ricki Wilde: Tia Williams (fiction)

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

  • Crafting sex writing in a way that feels authentic to you, your story, your setting, and "characters".
  • Unblocking shame/resistance to sex writing and working through feelings of fear and not being "socially acceptable".
  • Turning lived experience with sex on the spectrum of pleasurable to assault/abuse into literature.
  • Hone in on the publications you wish to publish your sex writing and pitch them effectively.

COURSE OUTLINE:

Week 1: This week, we'll think about what in our sexual experiences you will write about. Learn writing techniques to release inhibitions and get as close to the visceral sensations of sex as possible.

Week 2: This week, we’ll talk about the craft difference between abstract and graphic sex writing. Seeing the varying styles will help you make stylistic choices about your own sex writing. Additionally, we’ll connect with your unique WHY, or your purpose for writing about sex. Establishing this early on will reveal your writing pathway, and can be the fuel you tap into when old shame, rejections from publications, or criticisms from partners, parents, and peers crop up during the writing process. Lastly, designing your sex-writing menu (areas you like to write about, areas you’re curious explore, and sex topics that are off limits) gives your sex writing process a sense of pleasure, adventure, and safety.

Week 3: This week, we’ll talk about the importance of considering who your readership is, how much you think they can handle, and the importance of trauma-informed language. You might ask yourself: Does being abstract, graphic, or somewhere in the middle serve the text and the presumed audience best?; Would graphic be too triggering or gratuitous for readers?; Would being abstract leave readers unsatisfied?
We’ll also discuss your options for publishing and learn how to write a great pitch that will get you read. (And hopefully published!!)

Week 4: This week, we’ll discuss legal and ethical considerations for non-fiction sex writing and memoir. We’ll also talk about how to best way to promote writing about sex and how to market it. Lastly, establishing a platform for your sex-writing is useful for building a community of readers and writers who celebrate and support sex-writing. Literature needs it. Whether writing about sex becomes your “beat,” a column, or simply a topic you write about frequently, positioning yourself as the type of writer who doesn’t shy away from certain topics helps the act of writing about sex become more acceptable, especially for historically marginalized people.

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

Students will receive generative lists of: viable story ideas, list of details they are willing and not willing to disclose, potential publications they will pitch, names & contact info for editors they will pitch, and short in-class writing exercises/prompts.

Students can expect to read a few excerpts before class each week as well as complete five short generative writing exercises. Due to the nature of sex writing and respecting everyone’s comfort level, there will be no submissions shared with other workshop participants. However, students may submit one sex-focused pitch OR one sex-focused excerpt (one page max) to the instructor and receive brief written feedback.


ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:

This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!

PAYMENT OPTIONS:
You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • Instructor: Sarah Hosseini

  • Class Starts Tuesday, July 9th, 2024

  • Course is fully ONLINE and will meet weekly via Zoom on Tuesdays from 7:00PM EST - 9:00PM EST.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.