Writing Illness

Date: Saturday, March 27: 10 am to noon, and 1 pm to 3 pm, PST. Find your time zone.
Location: Online via Zoom.
Faculty: Tamara Kaye Sellman
Tuition: $76.50 usd
Registration: available below, or by contacting writing@kahini.org. 


Class Description

Writing about chronic disease, disability, invisible illness, injury, and physical trauma gets to the very heart of what it is to live in, with, and of the body.

This year especially, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed our need as writers to talk about the body in myriad narrative ways, whether clinical, personal, political, or as an act of witness.

Our narratives, no matter the forms we choose, can document pain, loss, dysfunction, rejection, discrimination, and the other nebulous challenges that bely illness in ways that Dr. Google (or real doctors) cannot.

We can, and should, chronicle our experiences for this reason alone. In fact, there has never been a more urgent time to do so.

Writing the illness narrative can illuminate the resilience, resolve, grit, humor and triumph of the spirit over physical or emotional barriers that the body can erect against one’s will. And when we lose these challenges—and we do, unfortunately—it’s necessary to capture these losses in words to guide others through their own grieving.

The goal of this workshop is to empower, motivate, and inspire you to unlock that poem, essay, story, or novel that needs to be written–because someone out there needs to read it now, more than ever.



Tamara Kaye Sellman is a healthcare journalist, patient advocate/columnist, and creative writer who lives in north Kitsap County. Her teaching focus is on the art of writing through, and about, illness, using a multiplicity of writing tools to access complicated terrain, both internal and external. Sellman’s hybrid collection, “Intention Tremor,” is forthcoming from MoonPath Press.