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Author and ASIJ alumna Sara Taber guides students in memoir writing

What if your father was a spy and you didn’t know it? What if the name you thought you were born with wasn’t your real name? This is the setting of Sara Taber’s biography Born Under an Assumed Name: the Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter.

Sara, who graduated from ASIJ in 1972, was our visiting author April 8-12 and she not only answered questions and explained details from her story, but also worked closely with students and teachers in the middle and high schools in writing workshops.

Sara currently teaches at the Bethesda Writer’s Center and introduced good techniques for writing memoirs and creative non-fiction. Her background growing up all over the world and having to constantly reevaluate her identity resonated with ASIJ students. She was able to guide students through the process of writing about their passions and unique experiences.

She also hosted a workshop for teachers and counselors on how to assist students in writing personal narratives. Her advice included how to brainstorm and get started, the elements required to hook the reader, how to incorporate facts and specific scenes, and good flow and structure. Her tips could be applied to everything from creative writing to college application essays.

Parents also had the chance to meet Sara for a book discussion one evening. Much thanks to the PTA for sponsoring Sara’s visit and providing this amazing opportunity for students, teachers and parents.

To read more on Sara’s experience as a student at ASIJ and the inspiration for her book, see her article from The Ambassador magazine.