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Voice in Creative Nonfiction with Sarah Krasnostein

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ACT Writers Centre

Gorman House 55 Ainslie Avenue

Braddon, ACT 2612

Australia

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Beyond just tone or perspective, voice in creative nonfiction 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, Sarah will work with participants to explore some of the many choices involved in the process of turning our messy and complicated selves into credible and original 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. We will also look at the strategies and tools we can draw upon when faced with the challenges of crafting a compelling narrative voice. As well as authorial perspective and tone, topics will include: finding what you want to say, the reporting and research process, voice versus self, reflection versus observation, fact versus opinion, explanation versus implication, and balancing objectivity with empathy.

Through selected readings, discussion, and in-class interviewing and writing exercises, we will challenge ourselves to broaden how we think about voice in creative non-fiction, as well as the techniques we can call on to craft the true stories we want to tell.

Sarah Krasnostein was born in America, studied in Melbourne and has lived and worked in both countries. She is a law lecturer and researcher with a doctorate in criminal law. Her first book, The Trauma Cleaner, won the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Prize for Non-Fiction in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2018. Sarah lives in Melbourne and spends part of the year working in New York City.

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ACT Writers Centre

Gorman House 55 Ainslie Avenue

Braddon, ACT 2612

Australia

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