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Family Troubles: The Hazards and Rewards of Writing About Family | Joy Castro

 Castro small headshot

April Member Teleseminar

April 18, 2014

 11 AM PDT    12 PM MDT    1 PM CDT    2 PM EDT


 I’m pleased to welcome Joy Castro this month as our member teleseminar presenter. I highly recommend her memoir The Truth Book, and Family Troubles–Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family. She gave a powerful presentation at the AWP Conference in Seattle last month, and I loved meeting her in person. It’s always inspiring to meet the “real” people I have gotten to know in their memoir.

We’ll be discussing the ethical and emotional pressures that infuse the process of writing memoir about family.  While William Faulkner famously said that good writing was worth “any number of old ladies,” most memoirists are more sensitive to our family members’ privacy, dignity, and feelings.  How do we write memoir that holds true to our own vision while not gratuitously exposing our family members?  Is it possible–or even desirable–to try to protect them from our literary explorations?

What you’ll learn:

  • We will explore the hazards memoir writers face when writing about family
  • What some of the textual techniques are for preserving family members’ privacy
  •  We’ll talk about strategies for if, when, and how to share manuscripts with family members
  • We’ll discuss the important personal and literary rewards of wrestling with the difficult challenge of writing memoir.



Joy Castro is the author of the memoirs The Truth Book (2005; U of Nebraska, 2012) and Island of Bones (U of Nebraska, 2012); literary thrillers Hell or High Water (St. Martin’s, 2012) and Nearer Home (St. Martin’s, 2013; short story collection How Winter Began (U of Nebraska, forthcoming).  Winner of a Nebraska Book Award and an International Latino Book Award and a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award.

Joy edited Family Trouble:  Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family, (U of Nebraska, 2013).  Her work has appeared in Fourth Genre, Seneca Review, Afro-Hispanic Review, and The New York Times Magazine.  She teaches literature, Latino studies, and creative writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.





  1. Carolina Evans-Roman says:

    Do I have to registar for the April Member Teleseminar? Can’t find where to sign-up. Thank you

  2. Jeri Haklik says:


    I’m unable to find a link to sign up for 4/18/14 tele seminar. Please help. Thanks

  3. Kathleen says:

    Hello! What are the call-in details? I can actually attend this teleseminar!



  4. Betty Kuhn says:

    This is one webinar that I really need. I have written a memoir about a second marriage where the husbands family does not approve. They have given us problem and caused a riff between my husband and his family. Can I still tell the entire truth and publish the book?

  5. Karen Lee says:

    I am a member and only have a link to Friday’s description of the event, not the automatic link in

    • Hi Karen,

      All NAMW members receive call details for teleseminars a day or two before the event via email. Additionally, the teleseminar call number and code is posted in the Member Platform.

      Please email directly at if you did not receive the information and I’ll have a closer look.

      Kind Regards,

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