Here’s the outline for the upcoming Memoir Workshop being held in Church Point next Sat, Feb 18 at the Louis. E. Deveau Enterprise Centre, 1649, Route 1, next to University Saint Anne. Fee is $125 ($100 for seniors) and the workshop runs from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. If you have any questions, get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 902 648-0462
By the way, the photo above is one of many memories that prompted me to write the photo-essay “The Invitation” for Saltscapes Magazine last fall.
Making Memories Work for You
This memoir workshop appeals to a variety of ages, writing abilities and interests. For example: seniors who wish to write vignettes for their children and grandchildren; people who are journaling; volunteers from museums, libraries, or different community organizations who are writing newsletters or booklets; freelance writers who are interested in writing stories or essays for pay; scrapbookers who would like to write short stories to accompany their photos; and anyone who wants to write a book focused on their memoirs. Subjects covered during the day:
- What is memoir?
- Handouts/readings of a variety of examples + discussion
- Elements of good story telling + tips on writing powerful non-fiction
- Writing exercises (the day has several places where you’ll be doing some writing exercises to practice what you’re learning + time to share stories). I teach a technique called “clustering” which can be very valuable to mine ideas and figure out what to write about.
- Memoir as postcard stories … samples and where to submit. This short-short form is ideal for scrapbookers or for anyone who wants to write a collection of short vignettes for keepsakes. (Great, also for journaling ideas and for entering competitions such as Geist and The Writer’s Union of Canada’s annual postcard competitions.)
- Memoir as first person essays … samples and where/how to submit. There are a number of places that accept personal essays. Some are decent paying markets ($.50 to $1.50 word); some pay less. Other pay pittance or don’t pay. I will send all participants my data base of essay markets after the workshop. There are literary markets, mainstream markets (magazines, newspapers and ezines) as well as anthologies like Chicken Soup books.
- Memoir as long form (book). Where to begin? Ideas for creating a game plan. Note: Because we would need a week to work on a book, we will discuss some ways to approach a long project and I will provide a bibliography (reference books and web sites) that can help in crafting a book but we will not be discussing book proposals or self publishing per se. This workshop is not about getting books published! Rather, it’s about different kinds of memoirs, different approaches, and looking at the different ways there are of approaching the process of writing a book. i.e., the workshop will help you find a way to start.
- How to enrich memoirs and give them depth. This needs research! How to find sources to inform your work, when to seek such sources, where to find them, and why bother in the first place? Samples and research sources.
- Ethics in writing memoir. To embellish or not to embellish? Should you create composite characters or not? This makes for a great discussion (and I have some excellent reference materials on the topic). Warning: Sandra is fanatic about truth telling in memoir and will try to pull you in to the writing camp that uses “Do not add; do not deceive” as a mantra. She also likes a good debate. This can be a hot topic in some circles.