Litfest Alberta Presents Rowan McCandless' Masterclass: Playing With Form - Dundurn

Litfest Alberta Presents Rowan McCandless' Masterclass: Playing With Form

Editor and award-winning author Rowan McCandless examines how understanding different creative nonfiction forms can help authors tell difficult, emotional, or complicated stories in the most impactful way. This 90-minute masterclass will guide participants through a number of writing activities. People will have the opportunity to explore various outlier constructions of creative nonfiction (the lyric essay, the diptych, and the hermit crab essay, as examples). As this is a generative workshop, participants should bring paper and a pen or pencil to complete the various writing prompts.

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Persephone's Children by Rowan McCandless 

After years of secrecy and silence, Rowan McCandless leaves an abusive relationship and rediscovers her voice and identity through writing.

She was never to lie to him. She was never to leave him; and she was never supposed to tell.

Persephone’s Children chronicles Rowan McCandless’s odyssey as a Black, biracial woman escaping the stranglehold of a long-term abusive relationship. Through a series of thematically linked and structurally inventive essays, McCandless explores the fraught and fragmented relationship between memory and trauma. Multiple mythologies emerge to bind legacy and loss, motherhood and daughterhood, racism and intergenerational trauma, mental illness and resiliency.

It is only in the aftermath that she can begin to see the patterns in her history, hear the echoes of oppression passed down from unknown, unnamed ancestors, and discover her worth and right to exist in the world.