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Video Replay: Writing Through Trauma & The Return Trip: Memoir and Writing About CPTSD

by Writing Workshops Staff

8 months ago

Video Replay: Writing Through Trauma & The Return Trip: Memoir and Writing About CPTSD

by Writing Workshops Staff

8 months ago

Watch our discussion about the difficult experience of working through trauma on the page, even relapsing during publication.

Our four panelists include:

  • Maya Golden, author of The Return Trip (Rising Action Publishing Collective, November 14, 2023)
  • Brian Brandt, moderator and author
  • Brenda McBride, LCSW and mental health expert
  • Tina Beier, COO of Rising Action Publishing Collective.

Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, called The Return Trip “a blessed blueprint for anyone seeking freedom from the shackles of shame, guilt, and trauma."

Maya is an Emmy-nominated and Associated Press award-winning journalist. Maya's work has appeared in Salon,, Dave Campbell's Texas Football, The Tyler Loop, and IN Magazine. She is the founder and executive director of the 1 in 3 Foundation, a non-profit supporting survivors of sexual violence.

The Return Trip details Maya’s road to healing and recovery after years of sexual abuse and sexual assault. She travels the country speaking about topics including mental health, wellness, education, and equality in the workplace.

The Return Trip is the story of what happens to a girl when she develops the core belief that she only exists for the pleasure of other people. The Return Trip confronts head-on the stigmas women face, especially women of color, with their own sexual identity, and is a rally cry for survivors of sexual abuse and assault that they can find self-esteem again after trauma.

Brian Brandt has spent his life supporting the transformation of individuals and organizations. He is the President of Core Insights, a Texas-based company providing premier training, strategic guidance, leadership coaching, and keynotes for businesses, nonprofits, and associations. In his three decades of leadership experience, he has served in such roles as C.E.O., public relations director, national sales director, executive pastor, and college tennis coach. He regularly speaks on leadership topics including blind spots, leadership, effective communication, non-profit issues, and how to bring a vision to fruition. Brian holds a Master of Global Leadership, as well as a Bachelor of Accounting. Brian volunteers for and serves on the board of numerous non-profit agencies. He coauthored Blind Spots: What you don’t know CAN hurt you, and The Ambassador’s Journeywith Dr. Ashley Kutach.

Brenda McBride, LCSW will provide insight into the symptoms of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) and the difficulty authors can face when revisiting trauma in writing.

Brenda McBride is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional® with over 25 years of experience in mental health with clinical expertise in the treatment of trauma.  As a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator, Brenda is certified in the research of Dr. Brené Brown and utilizes Dr. Brown’s curriculum to build courage, shame resilience, and posttraumatic growth to complex trauma survivors throughout East Texas. The East Texas community voted her as the Best in Town winner for mental health and as a volunteer in 2022 and 2023.  She facilitates several trauma support groups at no cost to the East Texas community and has a passion for helping those in need.  Brenda serves as the Director of Trauma Support Services at UT Health East Texas and provides counseling at her private practice.  She is a mom of three amazing kids and has been married to her husband, Michael for 25 years. People that know her best know that her middle name is Joy, and that her primary purpose is to bring the JOY!

Tina Beier of Rising Action Publishing Collective, Maya’s editor for The Return Trip, will discuss what stood out about the book during the query process. Tina will share the process from publishing deal to publication and the journey of putting the story into the world. Tina will also discuss what independent publishers are looking for in memoir queries.

Tina has ten years of experience in the reference publishing industry as both a copy editor and a project coordinator. She has a B.A. (Hons) in English, a Certificate in Publishing, and a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing. Tina’s primary role is editorial and managing all production schedules and distribution partners. Tina is a member of SF Canada.

More about The Return Trip: At age thirty, Maya Golden appeared to be living a charmed life. She was an award-winning sports reporter, a loyal wife, and a new mom. Outwardly, she was the picture of the American Dream for many women. Privately, she was battling addiction, perfectionism, dissociation disorder, and rage due to sexual abuse endured at the hands of her cousin and other predators. After years of harboring pain and channeling her anger into unhealthy outlets, Maya wanted to change. So, on a family road trip back to her Texas hometown, she decided she was ready to put an end to the secrets that threatened her marriage and her career. Three separate moments of divine intervention ultimately saved Maya’s life. From a suicide plan to treatment facility to launching a non-profit organization—Maya’s story chronicles and dissects her journey to show others that purpose can be made from trauma.


  • Attendees will learn what research is necessary for writing a memoir focused on trauma and memory;
  • Attendees will learn how to practice self-care when opening childhood wounds from trauma;
  • Attendees will learn how to best submit queries for stories addressing trauma, addiction and healing; how to immerse readers in time periods and generational markers.

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