Hey, this is Andrea Askowitz. Allison Langer and I met nine years ago, when she came to my memoir writing class. Allison had a story to tell, but she wasn't quite ready to tell it. For the whole semester Allison wrote stories about her dog. I could tell she was a good writer, but I could also tell there was something she was hiding. Before the last class, I gave the prompt: Write about the thing you least want to write about. Allison came in with a devastating story about the death of her daughter.
This is Allison. Andrea definitely didn’t let me get away with writing about my dog for long. She told me to get personal, which to me meant lose the protective layer I’d spent years building. It took the rest of the semester, but on the last class, I read my most personal story—the story about my daughter who died and the pain I was going through. The experience was transforming. I didn't feel judged or pitied, like I thought I’d feel. I felt sad, of course. But by telling my story I was able to move through the sadness, the label of “that woman who lost a child” and forward in my life.
I continued to take Andrea's class semester after semester. In 2015, we decided to create Writing Class Radio to bring the experience of a writing class to as many people as possible. We believe there is no place in the world like writing class because class is where people work out their shit and tell the truth.
Andrea + I believe the world would be a better world if everyone wrote and shared their stories. First you discover yourself. Then you are able to open your heart to others. It’s impossible not to like someone once you know their story. Join us!