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Literature and Sexual Trauma: Authors Writing Their Lived Experience

Venue: Online

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The Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters Project (SHaME) is pleased to continue its Writer in Residence Programme with a public event featuring a distinguished panel of award-winning authors who will speak about transforming their own lived experiences of sexual violence into different forms of literature. This is the second of three public events in the WiR Programme, a collaboration with survivor-centred arts organisation Clear Lines.

For the second public event of SHaME’s Writer-in-Residence Programme, a distinguished panel of award-winning authors will speak about transforming their own lived experiences of sexual violence into different forms of literature. Memoirist and academic Susan J. Brison, poet Shivanee Ramlochan, and graphic writer Una will speak with our Writer-in-Residence, novelist Winnie M Li, for an authentic discussion about trauma, writing, and recovery.

The act of writing has long been a vital means of self-expression when confronting the trauma of sexual violence and abuse. As artists and communicators, perhaps writers are uniquely placed to illuminate the psychological landscape behind this kind of lived experience.  But the journey from the raw experience of victimhood to authoring one’s own narrative can be different for each individual. By bringing together a poet, graphic writer, memoirist, and novelist we hope to understand how these various forms of creative writing allowed each survivor to tell their stories of sexual abuse/assault in different ways.

Like all SHaME events in this series, this evening is designed to bring survivors and activists into conversation with interdisciplinary scholarship in the field of sexual violence.  Expect a wide-ranging dialogue, followed by an audience Q&A. Some of the questions addressed will be:

  • What literary and ethical choices do authors face when drawing upon their own life experiences of sexual harms?
  • How can a particular form of writing allow each survivor to convey the mental health and bodily impacts of trauma, and the recovery from it?
  • How does one emotionally navigate the reception and reaction to your writing going public?
  • How can creative writing illuminate the experience of sexual violence in ways that academic, legal, or medical studies can’t?


You can read more about this event by visiting the SHaME website:

You can also find out more about Winnie's Writer In Residence Programme with SHaME on our blog:

You can purchase Winnie's book, Dark Chapter, in e-book, audiobook, or hardback here:

You can purchase Shivanee's book, Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, here:

You can purchase Susan's book, Aftermath, here:

You can purchase Una's book, Becoming Unbecoming, here:


Please note that this event will be hosted online and a joining link will be sent a few days prior to the event.

Please note that this event will be recorded.


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