The Joy of Learning to Write Sex Scenes in Fiction & Memoir


Sunday, March 3, 2024 from 1 to 3 p.m. (EST)/10 to 12 p.m. (PST). Do you freeze up when your characters drift into the bedroom? Are you puzzled about how much to say and how to say it? What to call the body parts that bring us so much pleasure and so much anguish? If you’re writing a memoir and there’s a sexual encounter that’s important to your story, do you gape at the screen and throw up your hands? And what if your husband/mother/child sees what you’ve written?

These are some of the issues that Elizabeth Benedict takes on in this one-time workshop, based on her classic how-to-book—the first of its kind—The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers, in print since 1996 and revised in 2002. In the book and in dozens workshops Benedict has given, the focus is on not writing erotica or porn but sex scenes encountered in today’s fiction and memoir, whether characters are Gen-Z's or grandmas, straight, LGBTQ, or doing god-knows-what on phones or computers. Among Benedict’s many lessons, with guidance on how to do this: A Good Sex Scene Does Not Have to Be About Good Sex.

Class Details

Cost: $89.00

Format: Online

Class Start: Sunday, March 3, 2024 from 1 to 3 p.m. (EST)/10 to 12 p.m. (PST).

Additional Information

For other inquiries, contact

About the Instructor

Elizabeth Benedict is a novelist, journalist, editor, and author of the new memoir, Rewriting Illness: A View of My Own (Mandel Vilar), which “reads as though Nora Ephron had written a book called ‘I Feel Bad About My Tumor.” (Thomas Beller). In addition to The Joy of Writing Sex, her five novels include National Book Award finalist, Slow Dancing, and the bestseller Almost. Her journalism is published widely; her personal essays have been “Notable” in 5 editions of Best American Essays. She works with students on college application essays through her company Don't Sweat the Essay, Inc.

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