Writing Lives and Places: A Life-Writing Workshop with Richard Lemm

 Saturday, September 12, 2015, 9:30am. – 3:30pm.

UPEI Main Building, Room 320

 American writer William Zinsser called his classic book on life writing Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir. Whether life writing is done for a small intimate audience or with the hope of publication and a larger readership, we want to tell our stories with as much artistry and craft as possible. We want readers to be engaged and memorably moved. This requires creative invention. Life writers must rely on fact-based research and on memories, their own and others’. They must also draw on strategies and techniques common to all creative writing, to literary invention. As well, the process of writing the first draft of a memoir or biography, whether an essay or article or full-length book, presents much the same challenges and rewards as drafting a poem, play, or fictional work.

In this workshop, we will look at the process and practice of life writing: the elements of memory, research, invention, and craft. The workshop will consist primarily of writing exercises, with discussion, that explore these elements. We will also consider the practical and ethical concerns that arise when we write about actual people and places. As well, we will consider how life writing may cross over the conventional borders between “truth” and “fiction.”

Life writing, in its wide variety, delves into virtually every realm of experience, and is used to enrich and inform other kinds of writing. This workshop will look at ways that life writers can draw readers into their realms.

The cost of the full-day workshop is $50 members of the PEI Writers’ Guild, students, and seniors.

To register, please fill out our online registration form.