San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Memoir-writing Workshop with Julie Townsend (see instructor bio below**).
WHAT STUDENTS WILL LEARN AND GAIN FROM THE CLASS
1. Create an interesting and believable scene through use of time, place, events, actions, dialogue and the senses.
2. Create compelling and strong characters through the use of memory, sensory detail, dialogue, gesture and the senses; understand that not all characters have to be likeable.
3. Create a narrative about a sentimental object or artifact that the student brings to class, i.e., a photograph, stuffed animal, piece of jewelry, letter, and so forth, using sensory details, description and memory
4. Understand the difference between exposition (telling) scene (showing) and summary (a combination of the two).
5. Write a timeline for a specific year in their life. (1982: The year I dropped out of college and worked on a lobster boat).
6. Respond to a five minute prompt from 642 Things To Write About: Examples: Your worst experience on an airplane; describing the face of someone you love; your best birthday. The goal is to write quickly and spontaneously without censoring.
7. Learn to use a point of entry (introduction) body (middle) and conclusion (exit).
8. Understand that memoir should be creative, expressive, and not purely information-based or linear.
1. Five minute prompt.
2. Creating a scene.
3. Creating a character.
4. Putting them together with an entry, body, and exit.
5. Writing a narrative about a sentimental object.
6. Writing a time line.
7. Conclusion: Further thoughts and ideas about and for future workshops
RESOURCE samples that will be available for review (you are not required to purchase these prior to class, but you may want your own copies prior to class from your local bookshop):
Writing Life Stories: Bill Roorbach
Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott
Writing Down the Bones: Natalie Goldberg
542 Things to Write About: The San Francisco Writers Grotto
Except for the five minute prompt and further memory mining exercises (10-15 minutes), each exercise will take 30-45 minutes. I find it easier and more productive to work in small stretches. We will also take mini-breaks between exercises.
*What to bring: spiral notebook or any writing journal, pens, sack lunch & beverage. (we will be working through lunch).
**Personal words from our instructor:
"I have an MFA in Photography from LSU and an MFA in Non Fiction Writing from UNO. I have taught Talent Visual Art in the JPPSS school system for nearly twenty years, and I have worked as a writing tutor for four years at UNO and Delgado Community College. I also taught photography and graphic design as a student teacher at LSU, where I worked as a radio announcer for two years.
I have exhibited my printmaking and photography in galleries throughout NOLA and the US, and I have published my writing in Ellipsis, The Sun, and South Central Review.At UNO I won a Mockbee Honorable Mention Award for Non Fiction, Ist place for Non Fiction in the Gulf Coast Writers Convention, and a McGaw nomination for interdepartmental academic writing. My poetry has also been featured twice in Poetry Circle, where it also was chosen for an Editor's Pick. In addition, I have also contributed work to All Poetry and Poetry Critical. In 2007, I gave a poetry reading at the Maple Leaf Bar in NOLA, and read a Non Fiction essay at the UNO Graduate Banquet in 2008.
I consider myself a true Renaissance woman and some of the subjects/workshops I have learned/studied are Technical Writing and Editing, Copyediting, Short Story Writing, Poetry Writing, Personal Essay, Printmaking, Painting, Quilting and Sewing. I also have a strong grounding in Natural Sciences, having studied Botany, Zoology and Ornithology. I consider myself an avid birdwatcher and equestrian, and I also currently study acting. In addition, I received two "Highly Effective" ratings for teaching at JPPSS.
I believe my wide range of interests in both visual art and literature, as well as theatre and natural science, enhance my teaching experience and creativity. My experience with public speaking is also helpful. It is my goal that every student in the class should be able to produce a memoir that they are proud of. Learning the craft will help them do so."
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When & Where
Uptown Needle & CraftWorks
4610 Magazine Street, New Orleans LA 70115 * 504-302-9434
“A longing for excitement can be satisfied without external means within oneself: For creating is the most intense excitement one can come to know.” – Anni Albers
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