a memoir masterclass with Belle de Jour
Have you ever thought your life would make an amazing story?
From critically acclaimed non-fiction like Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory to celebrity tell-alls and confessional diarists, memoirs are hugely popular with the press and public.
But memoirs are not only for or about the rich and famous. Many beloved memoirs are stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances – examining personal triumphs, bouts with illness, relationships, work, and much more. The page is the canvas, and your life experience is the palette.
Perhaps you are planning a personal memoir or other autobiographical work such as blogging, journalling, or feature columns, and want tips for turning events into stories. Or maybe you are already writing personal non-fiction and want to know how to take it to the next level. Interested in writing fiction based on and incorporating your own unique experiences? This workshop is also for you. NaNoWriMo participants are especially welcome.
About the course
This lively one-day workshop combines practical advice with hands-on activities designed to stretch your boundaries. The event will entertain and challenge writers at all levels - from those who are taking their first steps, to experienced old hands.
Whether aiming for literary heights or mainstream readerships, there are tools every effective memoirist has in their toolbox. You'll learn the craft of knowing what to share and what to leave out. You'll learn how to hone your unique voice, the most important part of any memoir. Most importantly you will go away understanding the challenges of the genre, with the skills to infuse life into your words.
• Finding your story: what to share and what not to
• Building a narrative arc from the chaos
• How to look at your life from the outside
• Create a bond with readers: finding your unique voice
• The shape of your book: creating narrative excitement
• Overcoming obstacles from writer's block to your inner critic
• Challenges and opportunities for modern memoirists
I had been toying with making the leap from academic writing into the popular market for a long time but had absolutely no idea how to do it. Brooke was the perfect mentor, offering guidance on how to write manuscript proposals and thoughtful critiques on early drafts. She struck a perfect balance, giving equal doses of patience, support and frank appraisal. With her help, I landed a literary agent immediately and have just delivered my third manuscript.
- Debra Komar, author of The Ballad of Jacob Peck and The Lynching of Peter Wheeler
Dates: Saturday 25 October 2014
Times: 10am-5pm. Check-in begins 30 minutes before the start time.
Location: Mitchell Library, North St, Glasgow G3 7DN
Price: £99 (includes light refreshments)
Brooke motivated me to get my arse in gear to come up with a better book proposal and sample chapter. She gave really helpful and encouraging feedback and great insider advice on getting published. With her help I'm now much more confident in my project and am determined to get it out there.
- Justin Hancock, BISH Training
Optional manuscript clinic
Bring your 50 double-spaced pages of a long work in progress (fiction or nonfiction), or equivalent shorter pieces, for a followup with Brooke after the course has ended. You'll receive directed feedback and advice via email and Skype, designed to help kickstart your creative flow.
Places are limited - register now!