Writing your heart out with Deborah Shepard: An Introduction to the art and craft of memoir
At the Michael King Writers' Centre in the historic and inspiring Signalman's Cottage on Takarunga/Mt Victoria in Devonport
Six Tuesdays 23 September - 28 October 6pm - 8.30pm
Over six weeks the course will cover the following topics: A definition of memoir and an introduction to the joys of life writing, establishing a reading programme and a place for writing, the writing discipline and overcoming self-doubt, crafting the writing: an editing workshop, ethical issues and a participatory model. At each session there will be writing exercises linked to the following themes: on childhood, writing directly from life: the art of journalling and observational writing, on friendship and love, on mentors, on the place where I feel most at home and alive, a self-portrait. Deborah will also share her thoughts on the wonderful new possibilities offered by an online world for sharing your work. She supplies a writer's toolkit including: a writing technique, tips on editing, style and form, research and professional presentation. and there will be an opportunity to write, craft and publish a story on the your story page of this website.
Deborah says, “Memoir is an ideal staring point to discover your writing talent because these are the stories of your life. You know them best. Working in a mutually supportive and cooperative small group setting you can begin to explore and record the important and defining stories for yourself and your family.”
“Writing memoir involves a healthy mix of self-examination, reflection, observation and empathy. The work is inward looking and contemplative but it also challenges us to look beyond ourselves to consider the people who figure in our stories and why they matter. Often people are delighted to discover universal dimensions in their writing when a story, or experience resonates with other writers." Participants on her courses speak of the sharing of the writing as one of the absolute highlights of the programme. Deborah also believes that writing memoir is consolidating and comforting and can help people work through current losses and transitions. For her the most appealing aspect of the genre comes from the act of writing itself. "It has a meditative quality offering a pause in the daily whirr to reflect upon and integrate the meaning of experience."
“On my courses we explore techniques that assist the release of memories and in the edit we learn how to strengthen and craft the raw material into compelling narratives. This happens in an atmosphere of mutual support and trust.”
Testimonials from previous workshops:
“I have gone from ambivalence and doubt to feeling confident I can do this due to Deborah’s superb teaching methods and well-structured classes.”
“Thank you for this class, and for Deborah's time and expertise in making it so challenging and enjoyable…and for the constructive way in which she provided feedback.”
“I have gained so much from Deborah’s Life Writing Classes.....her gentle encouragement, her generous affirmation...her own sharing of her writing successes and dilemmas.”
For more details please click on this link to the Michael King Writers' Centre.
"This is such a worthwhile course where emotional safety and student growth in writing are paramount."
– Marilyn Woolford