6 x Saturdays: 22, 29 February; 7, 21, 28 March; 4 April 2020, 10am-1pm
Full Price: $660
Conc Member: $395
‘What actually happened is only raw material,’ memoirist Vivien Gornick says, ‘what the writer makes of what happened is all that matters.’
This practical course is for writers who have a memoir project underway, and perhaps have attended a memoir writing course. We’ll begin with presentations on aspects of the writing craft and the writing process. Topics will include finding and shaping the story, the narrator’s voice, place and people, getting the language right, using reflection and taking the journey in time. Readings include extracts from memoir and essays by Helen Garner, Vicki Laveau-Harvie, Beth Yahp and John McPhee.
We’ll focus equally on your writing, with in-class exercises and guided discussion, and thoughtful analysis of literary texts. Tutor Barbara Brooks will help participants understand how to write memoir by looking at ways to work with imagination and innovation, and how to use the techniques of fiction to tell engaging life stories.
Week by Week Course Breakdown
Week 1: Understanding and sustaining the writing process
Week 2: Putting memories in place – locating and grounding your story
Week 3: When the language is right, the feeling and the thought will be right
Week 4: What’s the story? Finding and shaping the story
Week 5: Who’s telling the story? Finding your voice and using other voices
Week 6: Making the memoir journey – moving around in time and taking the reader with you
Expected Learning Outcomes
1.Participants will complete a short piece of memoir writing.
2. Participants will learn how to locate memories in time and place and create scenes.
3. Participants will learn how discussion of their own and other’s work will help them gain a better understanding of their own work.
Participants should have a memoir writing project under way. Please bring pen and paper.
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About the tutor
Barbara Brooks has published short memoir, essays and fiction, and an acclaimed biography, Eleanor Dark: A writer’s life. Her essays and stories have been published in Europe, Asia and the US as well as Australia. She is a highly regarded teacher of writing and has taught at a number of universities, including teaching non-fiction writing […]