Remembering in the Flesh: Character Development in Memoir

May 2022

Often in creative nonfiction, character development is overlooked and even stifled by the limitations of the known story.  In this class, we will explore several approaches to fleshing out the characters in your memoir (including you!) while remaining loyal to the truest version of your story. 

Class will be held May 7th – 28th


Meet Your Instructor

Shawna Kay Rodenberg

Shawna Kay Rodenberg is originally from Seco, a tiny former coal camp near the headwaters of the Kentucky River in Letcher County, Kentucky. She is a mother, grandmother, community college English instructor and a registered nurse. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in Consequence, Elle, Salon, the Village Voice, the Bennington Review, the Crab Creek Review, Kudzu and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel; she was a recipient of the 2016 Jean Ritchie Fellowship and a 2017 Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award in creative nonfiction. Rodenberg is also a vocalist; she and her husband, David, are collaborating on an album, a mix of original Americana, vintage country and traditional mountain songs. Her memoir, Kin, was published by Bloomsbury on June 8.


Kin: A Memoir

Kin is a mesmerizing memoir of survival that seeks to understand and make peace with the people and places that were survived. It is above all about family-about the forgiveness and love within its bounds-and generations of Appalachians who have endured, harmed, and held each other through countless lifetimes of personal and regional tragedy.