Memoir, Biography, Family Stories, The Journal, Nature Writing
Currently we are living through uncertain times where the once familiar patterns of existence have been disrupted by a global pandemic, wild weather events and a planet in a crisis, war and the threat of another Cold War. A life writing course offers a welcome refuge, a quiet and reflective space where you can investigate and express your experiences in written form. Everybody has the ability to write in these genres because these are our personal stories reflecting our particular vision of how we are experiencing the world. The process of making meaning is an engrossing and steadying practice. On Deborah's courses you are offered the resources and writing guidance to help you develop your unique voice and achieve your writing goals. This might be the perfect time to draw on your courage and begin exploring the stories of your life, through memoir, through family storytelling, or writing biographical portraits of the significant figures in your life, or through journalling in the present moment, or writing down your observations of the natural world. This course offers an opportunity to experiment across the genres to find the form that suits you best.
This course is designed for people who yearn to write. It is for those who have never written and for those who enjoy writing in other genres but haven’t yet tried life writing. Under Deborah’s guidance, and in a mutually supportive environment, this ten-week course offers the essential structure, method and themes to help the memoirist strengthen the writing voice and begin to realise the memoir project.
Author Dr Deborah Shepard is an experienced memoir tutor, writing mentor and biographer. Her books include: The Writing Life: Twelve New Zealand Authors, Her Life’s Work, Between the Lives: Partners in Art and Reframing Women: a history of New Zealand film. Over nine sessions she will introduce you to the pleasures of writing memoir, to the history of the genre using literary excerpts to inspire, by: Frances Edmond, Emma Espiner, Janet Frame, Janice Galloway, Charlotte Grimshaw, Alison Jones, Blake Morrison, May Sarton, Peter Wells, Jeanette Winterson, Tim Winton… Working on your own and as a group, sharing the writing as you go, you will complete a collection of memoir pieces and portraits that will supply the structure upon which to develop your memoir. Each participant receives an individual mentoring session with Deborah and an opportunity to publish on the ‘Writers’ Stories’ forum at: https://www.deborahshepardbooks.com/writers-stories
When: 26 February — 29 April 2024
Number of sessions: Nine sessions every Monday 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Where: Devonport Library
Course fee: $375
Contact Deborah: Via her Contact Page on this website
What people say about Deborah’s memoir courses
I came away with a lot of confidence that I had something to say and that I could say it well
— Terry Levenberg
Over the five sessions I found my “creative writing voice” as an apprentice, in a safe and supportive environment and through a superbly designed course. As a small group of diverse writers, we were expertly guided by the wise and gentle Deborah, who is an outstanding teacher
— Maria Kazmierov
Recent feedback on Journalling in Extraordinary Times at the Devonport Library
Through journal writing with Deborah I found my writing voice which helps me live with ease and authenticity every day.
— Catherine Moorhead
Journals are magic portals to finding beauty and sense in the every day and Deborah showed us how to find the key.
— Jicca Smith
Deborah provided a safe, welcoming and skilled approach to journal writing, which enabled group members to find their voice and delight in writing.
— Sally Monks
Artist's illustration: Writing at the Devonport Library by Karen Jarvis, 2023