The Write Prescription: Telling Your Story to Live With and Beyond Illness

Judith Hannan
Published in 2015
by Archer/Rare Bird Books

The author of Motherhood Exaggerated (CavanKerry Press, 2012), a memoir recounting her young daughter’s battle with cancer, assembles a thoughtful guide for anyone dealing with illness to tell their stories, whether for themselves or a larger audience. Divided into three sections—“Getting Started,” “Parting the Curtains, Setting the Scenes,” and “Inside the System”—Hannan eases writers into their storytelling journey with a series of warm-up exercises, then through an exploration of specific scenes and events, and finally challenges them to consider their experiences with the medical system. Hannan approaches writing about illness in a practical and caring way, offering writing prompts throughout the book as gateways for your writing to grow. “I don’t believe we can move on from trauma, but we need to be able to move with what has happened to us. Writing can be a companion that takes our arm as we walk. It can heal or nourish or fortify,” writes Hannan.