“We All Had Ponies!”: How to Interview Your Relatives and Write About Their Lives with Maurice Chammah


Time & Date:
Saturday, November 2nd, 2:30pm — 5:30pm

Austin Bat Cave
1210 Rosewood Ave. (map)

Have you ever found yourself wanting to know more about the lives your parents, grandparents, and other relatives lived before you were born? Do you have an itch to write the next great family history essay? In this one-afternoon workshop, a working journalist will share interview tips — which you can use over the holidays! — and talk about the sorts of primary sources you might dig up at home to contextualize what you learn and help you discover how your ancestors’ experiences intersect with capital H-History. We’ll also discuss how to develop, structure, write, and publish essays about family history, analyzing work by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah and Daniel Mendelsohn.

This class will serve as a teaser for an 8-week class beginning in January. Come back in the new year and take the next steps towards researching and writing an emotionally rich and historically-layered essay.

This class is open to writers at all levels. 

4 in stock


About the Instructor:

Maurice Chammah has written for Guernica about his father’s relationship to his native Syria. He previously worked at the Texas After Violence Project, collecting oral histories about criminal justice issues. Now, he writes about the criminal justice system for The Marshall Project. His forthcoming book about the Texas death penalty was awarded the 2019 J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Book Award.

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