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Joyce has an amazing, important story to tell about an artist, Joyce’s twin sister Judy, who had so much against her–undiagnosed deafness, Down’s Syndrome in a time when differences were institutionalized, and years away from her family–only to find her artistic “voice” when in their middle age Joyce gained guardianship of Judy and brought her to California and to Creative Growth. Judy became a world-famous artist–and Joyce became a lyrical, honest writer who tells this tale in her new memoir, Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent World of Artist Judith Scott. We talk about editing and shaping a memoir: what gets cut and what gets kept. We dig into ways of accessing your material, including journaling, wine drinking, storytelling, research early morning writing habits, live writing as things are happening, and note taking or recording your voice while you’re walking, or running, or doing anything repetitive. We discuss the importance of writing groups and how to start them, thinking in terms of fiction versus thinking in terms of nonfiction, creating composite characters and how to write dialog for nonfiction. We look at the impact Judy’s increasing fame did and did not have on her and how that might be a model for all of us who create–and indeed of the need to create art under any circumstances. Other topics touched on: the crankiness caused by not writing, the entitlement of the artist and her self regard, the ways that people with a variety of abilities can live and create together, the importance of making mistakes, and the principles of simplicity.


Links Discussed:

Donna Levin

The Story Makers Show – Meredith Maren episode

The Girls Who Went Away – on Amazon and Indiebound

Anne Lamott

Failed It on Amazon and Indiebound

The Larche Community in France

Facebook: Judith Scott artist and Joyce Scott

Web site:

Entwined by Joyce Scott on Amazon and Indiebound



Joyce Scott

Joyce Scott

Joyce Scott, MA,  is the twin sister of Judith Scott. As an RN and developmental specialist she has worked for many years with children with Down Syndrome and other special needs. A long-time resident of Berkeley, California, Joyce has dedicated her life to helping mothers and children. She is also a poet, writer and clinical hypnotherapist.

As an advocate for people with disabilities, she has spoken at international conferences and events in Ireland, England, France and Asia. She has appeared on television in Europe and the United States and spoken at museum and gallery openings, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.In 2011 Joyce attended the opening of a major exhibition of Judith’s work in London., during which she appeared on a popular BBC arts program, and participated as guest speaker on several public discussion forums.  She then went on to the opening of another exhibition in Paris, and again served on a public discussion panel.

Joyce serves on the advisory board of Creative Growth, the first art center in  the world for  artists with disabilities. She is a founding director of Birthways, a referral and educational service for pregnant women and new mothers.  She is also founder of the Bali Children’s Project, a non-profit dedicated to providing educational and art opportunities for  young people in rural Bali.  She is currently engaged in establishing a studio and workshop for artists with disabilities in the mountains of Bali.

Story Makers is a podcast that features in-depth conversations with accomplished writers, filmmakers and industry experts about story craft, technique, habit and survival–everything you need to know to stay inspired, connect to your creativity, find others’ wonderful stories and your own success.

The hosts:

Elizabeth Stark is a published, agented novelist and distributed filmmaker who teaches and mentors writers at

Angie Powers is a distributed filmmaker and published short story writer with an MFA in creative writing and a certificate in screenwriting from UCLA who teaches story structure at