Deborah will be teaching her annual summer school of life writing through Lifelong Education at the University of Auckland from Monday 16 — Friday 20 January, 9.30am - 1pm daily. Her courses fill up quickly so don't miss out.
Masterclasses in Memoir at the Michael King Writer's Centre Tuesdays from 5 April - 10 May 6pm - 8.30pm
View from the writer's studio, Michael King Writers' Centre. Photo: Deborah Shepard
When: Tuesday 23 June, 6pm
Where: Takapuna Library
Cost: $5 ($3 members)
Join us to hear Deborah Shepard speak in conversation with publisher, Linda Cassells about her recently published book, Giving Yourself to Life: A Journal of Pain, Hope and Renewal. Deborah is a biographer, teacher of memoir and a Michael King Writers’ Centre resident.
‘To anyone familiar with negotiating the parameters of pain, Deborah Shepard’s personal story will resonate loud and clear.’
- Wallace Chapman, TV and radio broadcaster.
Refreshments start at 6pm with a 6.30pm opening. To reserve your place, email Helen Woodhouse or phone Takapuna Library on 09 890 4903
Listen to Deborah's recent interview with Bryan Crump here:
The Michael King Writers’ Centre is delighted to announce a new series of writing classes on memoir to be led by author, film and art historian, and life writing mentor Deborah Shepard.
Her books have been critically acclaimed for documenting the contribution of women to the arts in New Zealand. They include Reframing Women: A History of New Zealand Film (2000), Between the Lives: Partners in Art ( 2005) and Her Life's Work (2009.)
She will appear at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival in May to discuss her latest book Giving Yourself to Life: A Journal of Pain, Hope and Renewal, released by Calico Publishing this year. She held the Autumn Residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in 2013, when she worked on her next book Writing Your Heart Out: The Art and Craft of Memoir.
Deborah is a highly-regarded teacher of life writing, with years of experience. She has taught courses through the Centre for Continuing Education at The University of Auckland since 2006, is a life writing mentor for the New Zealand Society of Authors and is consultant biographer for Mercy Hospice.
There will be six classes in the series, held in Devonport starting April 21. They will cover all aspects of life writing, including exercises. The programme is designed for people who have never written before or who are new to memoir. It will have an intensive small-group format and entry is by application.
Memoir classes for beginner writers
Weekly, Tuesdays April 21 to May 26, 2015 | 6 pm to 8.30 pm (6 classes)
Cost: $250 incl GST
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 09 445 8451
In 2015 Deborah will be offering the following memoir courses:
Life Writing with Deborah Shepard, Creative Week on Campus, University of Auckland, 9.30am - 1pm, Monday 12 January - Friday 16 January
Writing Your Heart Out with Deborah Shepard: An Introduction to Memoir, Michael King Writers' Centre, 17 March - 21 April (six week course)
Writing Your Heart Out with Deborah Shepard: The Art and Craft of Memoir Masterclasses, 29 September - 3 November (six week course)
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.