Writing Character: How to Write Intergenerational Dialogue | 3-week Writing Workshop

Lyndsey Ellis Saturdays, June 3-17
11am-1pm ET
8am-10am PT
10am-12pm CT
3 class sessions

By signing up for a class, you agree to our refund policy and code of conduct here.

Real talk – every generation has its own slang, phrases, attitudes, and belief systems that stem from values specific to their age groups. Exploring the foundations of intergenerational exchanges helps us better understand ourselves and each other as our life experiences intersect, strengthening the dialogue and scenes you create in novels and short stories.

How to Write Intergenerational Dialogue sheds light on how we, as writers, can capture nuances in the conversations between a grandparent and a child, a teacher and a student, a new hire and a retiree, or any characters from multigenerational settings in our stories.

We’ll read examples of texts from classic and contemporary writers, including Toni Cade Bambara (Gorilla, My Love), Gloria Naylor (Mama Day), and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Lives of Church Ladies) to help set the tone as you prepare your own writing.

At the end of 3 weeks, you can expect to have a well-crafted piece exhibiting dialogue that's crisp, natural, and engaging between characters from varied generations. Come ready to write your best scenes!

Open to beginner and intermediate writers.

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

Meet Your Instructor:
Lyndsey Ellis

Lyndsey Ellis is a fiction writer and essayist with work appearing in midnight & indigo, Kweli Journal, Catapult, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Joyland, and several anthologies. She has led several creative writing workshops with a focus on craft, publication, networking opportunities for writers, and cross-arts collaboration. A recipient of the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for her fiction, Ellis is a prose editor for great weather for MEDIA and The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose & Thought. Her debut novel, Bone Broth, was published by Hidden Timber Books in 2021.

Course Takeaways

  • Observe nuances between younger and older generations that impact our character's points of view and how they treat each other
  • Explore commonalities and differences between generations through dialogue
  • Write to encourage readers to stop stigma, cultivate empathy, and learn from the knowledge gaps that destabilize our communities

Course Expectations

  • While there's no pre-work involved, participants will be expected to share their writing and exchange feedback in class
  • Participants will have an opportunity to read and discuss a variety of sample texts, with examples of effective intergenerational dialogue.


We offer full refunds for cancellation with written notice up until 7 days before your class start date. From 6 days to more than 24 hours before class begins, we offer a 25% refund. If you drop a class less than 24 hours before the class begins or after it has started, you are ineligible for a refund.