Finding Your Voice and Crafting Stories that Ignite the Soul with Sue William Silverman

Promo for Writing Your Resilience podcast episode fifteen Finding Your Voice and Crafting Stories that Ignite t the Soul Photo on the left of the host Lisa Cooper Ellison a middle-aged white woman with long, curly silver hair wearing a blue dress and on the right guest Sue William SIlverman a middle-aged white woman with shoulder length blond hair.

About Finding Your Voice and Crafting Stories that Ignite the Soul with Sue William Silverman

Sue William Silverman joins the Writing Your Resilience Podcast to talk about the power of creative nonfiction, how to use metaphor, masks, and language to harness its power, and how this work can lead to personal growth.



Transcript for Finding Your Voice and Crafting Stories that Ignite the Soul with Sue William Silverman

Lisa 0:08

During a creative nonfiction class I taught in 2017, a student asked me how to navigate the different voices that appear in creative nonfiction. That led me to Sue William Silverman and her Brevity post on the subject, as well as her first craft book, Fearless Confessions.

I’ve been following Sue online for the past seven years and was delighted to hear late last fall that she was publishing a new book, Acetylene Torch Songs: Writing True Stories to Ignite the Soul. I reviewed this book for Hippocampus Literary Magazine and soon after I invited Sue onto the podcast so we could have a more in-depth conversation about her new work.

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Show Notes for Finding Your Voice and Crafting Stories that Ignite the Soul with Sue William Silverman

Sue William Silverman joins the Writing Your Resilience Podcast to talk about the power of creative nonfiction, how to use metaphor, masks, and language to harness its power, and how this work can lead to personal growth.

As you listen along, here are a few questions to ponder: Which of your stories yearn to be told?  How do you uncover their many emotional truths? What do those truths look like on the page and sound like when you read them out loud? 

Sue’s Bio: 

Sue William Silverman is an award-winning author of eight works of nonfiction and poetry. Her most recent book is Acetylene Torch Songs: Writing True Stories to Ignite the Soul. Her previous book, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences,” won the gold star in Foreword Reviews Indie Book of the Year Award and the Clara Johnson Award for Women’s Literature. Other works include Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, which was made into a Lifetime TV movie; Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, which won the AWP Award; and The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. She is faculty co-chair of the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Episode Highlights: 

  • 4:00 Why We Write Creative Nonfiction 
  • 8:00 Metaphors in Creative Nonfiction Writing 
  • 24:00 Using Masks to Externalize the Narrator and Connect with Their Voice 
  • 30:00 Writing, Creativity, and Emotional Truth 
  • 36:00 Creative Nonfiction Writing and Personal Growth 
  • 42:00 Writing, Memoir, and Essay Collections
  • 48:00 Writing, Resilience, and Self-Expression

Resources Mentioned During This Episode

Connect with Sue:

Connect with your host, Lisa:

Sign up for Psychology of Character Development for Memoirists: https://janefriedman.com/the-psychology-of-character-development-for-memoirists-with-lisa-cooper-ellison/

Produced by Espresso Podcast Production: https://www.espressopodcastproduction.com



About Your Host


Lisa Cooper Ellison is an author, speaker, and trauma-informed writing coach with an Ed.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has spent the last two decades helping clients and students turn difficult experiences into art, and currently teaches courses in memoir, the psychology of writing, and the book proposal. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Huffpost PostHippocampus Literary Magazine, and Kenyon Review Online, among others. 


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