#94 Writing Our Stories in Sharp Relief Featuring Sue William Silverman

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Sue William Silverman


Sue William Silverman and I were both at AWP 2023, which was such a great opportunity to connect with other writers. We both are dedicated to teaching the craft of writing and inspiring our students.

I was excited to hear about her new book, Acetylene Torch Songs, and once I had it in my hands, knew that I wanted to have her on the program. 

In This Episode 

  • How Sue came up with the title ‘Acetylene Torch Songs’
  • Writing down situations, emotions and dialogue that grip the reader
  • Addressing the gap in memory
  • Crafting the “Aware” and “Unaware” voice in memoir
  • The power of small moments, sensory language and metaphors
  • The untruth about only writing about headline heavy events
  • Employing texture for the ending of your essay
  • The key distinction between writing an essay collection vs. memoir

Watch on YouTube

About Sue

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, 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 in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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