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We All Have Family Stories to Tell 4-Week Zoom Class, Starts Saturday, April 6th, 2024
We All Have Family Stories to Tell 4-Week Zoom Class, Starts Saturday, April 6th, 2024
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We All Have Family Stories to Tell 4-Week Zoom Class, Starts Saturday, April 6th, 2024

Unit price per

Begins Saturday, April 6th, 2024

Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Saturdays, 4:00pm ET - 6:00pm ET

Now Enrolling!

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

Led by 2022 LARB Publishing Fellow Eraldo Souza dos Santos, a Brazilian writer currently based between Paris and São Paulo. Eraldo has taught creative writing at the Center for Fiction as well as history, philosophy, and political science at the Sorbonne and at the University of Chicago's Vienna Human Rights program. Eraldo will join Cornell as a Klarman Fellow (Summer 2024) and UC Irvine as an Assistant Professor within the Poetic Justice Cluster (Summer 2025). 

Join us in writing the family stories we all have to tell.

From novels and memoirs to poems and essays, family life is one of the main motives of literary writing. But it is perhaps a truism to say that writing about family is not easy. As Leo Tolstoy famously wrote at the beginning of Anna Karenina, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” That is what I have learned since I decided to start writing about how my mother was sold into slavery by her adoptive sister five and a half decades ago.

For four weeks, we will explore in this workshop how writers from different historical periods and traditions wrote about (their) families – and how we can do so today. Participants will have the opportunity to workshop their pieces and receive feedback in the second, third, and forth sessions of the workshop.


We will read, study, and find inspiration in writings by James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time), Simone de Beauvoir (A Very Easy Death), Ingrid Rojas Contreras (The Man Who Could Move Clouds), Annie Ernaux (A Woman's Story), Didier Eribon (Returning to Reims), Jamaica Kincaid (The Autobiography of My Mother), Toni Morrison (Beloved), and Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous), among others.


Class 1: Voice and Style in Family Writing

Class 2: Five Techniques

Class 3: Writing about Traumatic Experiences

Class 4: Writing with a Family Member


  • You will have the opportunity to produce at least four short pieces based on writing exercises proposed throughout the workshop.
  • You will receive written feedback for the pieces you will produce during the workshop and for one of the pieces you may want to produce independently.
  • You will have the opportunity to workshop your pieces with the other workshop participants as well as with me in a one-on-one consulting session.


This was a brilliant workshop! I really enjoyed the mixed approach of tasks, reading & discussion, and I came away with some amazing new thoughts & insights. Thank you so much! -UEA Creative Writing Course, MA Prose Fiction

I was in Eraldo’s Lounge Writers session on writing autobiographies. Eraldo selected excellent readings and discussed them closely, inviting our questions and comments. I really appreciated the balance between thorough examination of content and concepts and hands-on exercises on autobiography. Eraldo shared his extensive knowledge of world literature, literary criticism, and history in ways that contextualized the readings and provided a useful framework for the participants to contextualize the autobiographies they may want to write. I left this relatively short session with a deeper and broader understanding of the concepts covered. Eraldo is a generous, engaging, and enthusiastic instructor. I look forward to learning more from him in future sessions. -Lounge Writers

Eraldo is brilliant, current, and analytical. His course content was endless -- in that beyond what was covered in class, Eraldo exposed us to new worlds in literature that we go forward to pursue independently, a sort of limitless virtual classroom. Eraldo's presentation/material is marvelously thought-provocative. He never talked down to the class while he consistently elevated our knowledge base. I consider it an honour to have studied w/ him and hope to do so again in the future. -Former Student

The workshop was agile and engaging, where Eraldo Souza dos Santos shared his knowledge and encouraged everybody to participate. The writers and books he recommended to us (so hard to find alone in a bookstore) were precisely what I was looking for to pursue my project. Thanks! -Center for Fiction

"Content and instructor were harmonious. Examples and discussion opened up a new world to me as an author. Your teaching style is very grounded, open, inviting, warm, personal, literate, intellectual." -Former Student

"It must be said... that you are a wonderful, clear in purpose and delivery, teacher." -Former Student


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!


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: Eraldo Souza dos Santos

  • Class Starts Saturday, April 6th, 2024

  • Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Saturdays, 4:00pm ET - 6:00pm ET

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

A 2022 LARB Publishing Fellow, Instructor Eraldo Souza dos Santos is a Brazilian writer currently based between Paris and São Paulo. His first novel, to be published in 2024, is an autobiography of his illiterate mother and a meditation on the lived experience of Blackness and enslavement in modern Brazil. At the age of seven, his mother was sold into slavery by her white foster sister. It was 1968—eighty years after the abolition of slavery in Brazil and four years into the anti-communist coup d’état, during the month in which the military overruled the Constitution by decree. By weaving in extensive archival research and interviews, the novel narrates their journey to Minas Gerais—where she was born—and Bahia—the Blackest state in Brazil, where she was enslaved on a farm for three years—to investigate why the family that enslaved her has never been brought to justice. It also narrates his grandmother’s journey to search for her missing daughter. In March 2023, he offered a masterclass based on his novel at the prestigious UEA Creative Writing Course.