Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! Sept.5. Cake, beverages. Launch 7:15 pm. (NOWW AGM 6:30.)

Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! Sept.5. Cake, beverages. Launch 7:15 pm. (NOWW AGM 6:30.)
Prize Winning Stories from NOWW

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Snippets from the Writers’ Conference

What a success! Congrats to the organizers. It was grand to see so many out of town writers..

Many participants described the memoir workshop by Heather Summerhayes Cariou as inspiring. Here are a few snippets from that workshop

Someone out there needs to hear your story. Write it so they can find you.

A writing exercise: Quick, quick, quick. No hesitation. Refuse to let the censor creep in. Choose a person who is lost to you (in whatsoever way you understand this) and list 5 things in each category related to that person:
1. What they wore
2. What they said
3. Objects you associate with them
4. Foods they ate with you

As above, but choose a place that is lost to you:
1. Objects
2. Smells
3. Sounds
4. Colours
5. Liked
6. Didn’t like
7. Songs you link with the place
8. Finally a historical event which happened while you were in the place…this helps to anchor the place in history for you.

Looping: a technique of looking back over your exercises or work and finding the one sentence or phrase which is most powerful for you (you’ll feel it in your physical reaction) and starting with that the next time you write or revise

Light & shadow: a portrait must have both light and shadow

The Secret to Writing & to Life
--Show up
--Pay attention
--Tell the truth
--Let go of the outcome

Write everything. Later take stuff out. The trick is what to leave out and the problem is you won’t know until you write it.

Why do we write memoir? Many reasons. To honour an experience and let it go, to make sense of powerlessness and get the power back, to find out what lies under the surface.

Self revelation without analysis and understanding is an embarrassment.

A memoir is a reflection, not a hidden plea for help, not a subtle seeking of sympathy, not a means of revenge. No pity party please.

Ask yourself the question, “Who owns this story?” The answer must be “I do.”

Intention is revealed by behaviour. Examine your people as characters.

Good writing should cost you. Tears means the soul is thirsty. Let it drink.

If you can’t tell the truth about yourself, you can’t tell the truth about anyone else.
~ Virginia Woolf

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