“I want to write about my childhood friends. Can they sue me for mentioning things that happened back then?”

“I want to write about my childhood friends. Can they sue me for mentioning things that happened back then?”

Q –

I want to write about my childhood experiences involving experiences I shared with friends. I’d really like to use their names, and surprise them with a copy of the book when it’s finished. What advice can you give me about this? Is there already an article about writing about your childhood on WritersWeekly?

M.E.


A –

We always recommend changing the names entirely when you are writing about life events. You should also consider changing other identifying info. in each story. You never know when someone from your past has grown up to be a litigious adult. And, even if you change their names, they can still sue you if they disagree with what you’ve written.

The article you are looking for is here:
Don’t Invite Lawsuits by Real People Featured in Your Book! (Hint: You Can Still Be Sued Even If You Don’t Name Them!)

Brian Whiddon
Managing Editor – WritersWeekly.com
Operations Manager – BookLocker.com

Brian Whiddon is the Managing Editor of WritersWeekly.com and the Operations Manager at BookLocker.com. Brian is an Army vet and former police officer, and spent several years chained to a desk, commuting Tampa's congested roadways, working in corporate management and training, while writing in his spare time. He is now an author, blogger, and NRA-certified firearms instructor. Brian lives and works aboard his 36-foot sailboat, the “Floggin’ Molly” in St. Petersburg, Florida. He calls her his "rescue boat" that he found abandoned in a boat yard and rebuilt himself - fulfilling a dream he had to one day live aboard. Brian no longer commutes, and has donated all his business slacks, collared shirts, and ties to Goodwill. You can follow Brian on Facebook.

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