Writing the Memoir

Location: Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver

Date: Reading on Friday, February 22, 7:30 to 9 p.m.; writing workshop on Saturday, February 23, and Sunday, February 24, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost: To be determined. Space is limited. To secure a seat, please register by emailing ametten@telus.net.

Many writers have demonstrated that even the most glamorous lives–of celebrities, war heroes, or politicians–can make for dull reading. Yet the most ordinary lives can make thrilling reading. How does the storyteller capture the essence of the story and develop a reader’s interest? What are memoirs really about, and why write them? Through discussion, question and answer, exercises, and examining successful memoirs, this workshop will endeavour to answer such questions, as well as to show how memoirs might be structured, and how a writer decides what to put in and what to leave out. Memoirs are therapy for both writer and reader, but they are also good stories: at their best, they are art.

Sharon Butala is an award-winning author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her memoir, The Perfection of the Morning, was a Canadian bestseller and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Ms Butala has been called one of Canada’s true visionaries. In 2002 she was honoured as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her newest work, The Girl in Saskatoon: A Meditation on Memory and Murder (HarperCollins Canada), will be in bookstores in March.

Watch this website over the next few days for more information.