Voice in Creative Non-Fiction

Sarah Krasnostein

Saturday 16 February, 10am-4pm

Full Price: $195
Member: $135
Conc Member: $120

SOLD OUT – join the waitlist

More than just tone or perspective, voice in creative non-fiction is the writer’s signature on a particular true story. It refers to the unique ways in which we understand our material and reflect that understanding back towards our readers. In this workshop with Sarah Krasnostein, we will explore some of the many choices involved in this process of turning our messy selves into original and credible narrators of true stories.

Are you drawn more to Virginia Woolf’s, ‘If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people’ than to Joan Didion’s, ‘Style is character’? Let’s discuss the distance, if any, between “voice” and “self”.

Also: we will explore a range of strategies and tools that are available to assist when we are faced with the inevitable challenges of crafting a compelling narrative voice to suit our material.

In addition to authorial perspective and tone, topics will include: finding the source of your voice long before you sit down to write, the reporting and research process, fact versus opinion, and balancing objectivity with empathy.

Through analysis of selected readings, group discussion, and in-class interviewing and writing exercises, we will challenge ourselves to broaden how we think about voice in creative non-fiction, and the craft techniques that we can call on in order to best serve the stories we have to tell.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  1. Participants will explore, and reflect on, strategies for crafting voice in creative non-fiction with examples, exercises and discussion.
  2. Participants will learn a range of tools to help them meet the challenges of crafting a unique voice that best suits their material.
  3. Participants will gain confidence in developing their voice and using it at the service of original creative non-fiction storytelling.

Participant Requirements

  • Bring an extract (i.e. an example of voice in creative non-fiction) which has moved you and be ready to share it with the group. This is an excerpt from a published work and is not your own work. The extract will ideally be one or two paragraphs and no longer than one page.
  • Pen and paper or preferred device for writing. Please ensure your device is charged.
  • Optional: voice recorder (a smartphone is best but if you already have another recording device you can bring it with you) and headphones. This is optional but strongly recommended for the interviewing exercise. You can still participate without a recording device by transcribing notes.
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