“Revealing the Tapestry of Our Life Stories”
9:30-11:00–Workshop Session I
11:15-1:15–Lunch and In-Conversation
1:30-3:00–Workshop Session II
3:15-4:15–Optional Writing Activity
Metaphor in Story with JoAnn Anglin—Workshop attendees will explore how to borrow poetic techniques and tools to add more flavor, variety, and intensity to memoirs and to better convey the mood of a time or place.
Creating Fiction From Our Lives: How We Weave a Tapestry of Imagination, Memory, and Memoir with Naomi Benaron—I am not a firm believer of “write what you know.” I do, however, believe that no matter how far we stray from our own truths, if we look into our “fictional souls,” we will find the beating heart of those memories. The purpose of this workshop is to connect with our personal truths and learn how to weave them into the narrative and spiritual arcs of our stories with courage, honesty, and integrity.
Feminist Ekphrasis: perception, projection, and power dynamic with Rhony Bhopla—Workshop attendees will explore writings surrounding feminist visual art. The focal point will be an examination of gender power dynamics between object, artist, and gazer. This is a generative workshop.
Therapeutic Writing: Confronting Fear, Capturing Memory, and Working Through Loss with Emily Bond—This workshop will explore writing as a powerful self-expressive and reflective tool. Join us as we examine fear, grief, and memory through the lenses of short-essay, fiction, and memoir.
Crossroads: Exploring the Alternate Choice with Traci Gourdine—Explore the art of “would’ve, should’ve, could’ve.” We’ll try out several techniques to organize and beautify, without preaching abstractions, a key turning point in our lives when we had to make a choice that determined the direction of our life. What might have happened had we taken the other road? Who would we be, and where would we find ourselves? This exercise allows us to utilize fiction and non-fiction as we travel down that alternate path in the voice of the person we would have become. Many are surprised with the results; many realize we may have chosen the right path after all. Prose and poetry are welcome.
The Photographer As Narrator with Ellen Sander—Photographs have inspired many classic narratives. Preparing to recognize the moment, capturing transience, and making pictures in all sorts of situations “are things a story writer needed to know,” recalled Pulitzer Prize author Eudora Welty, emphasizing the realization that “Life doesn’t hold still. A good snapshot stopped a moment from running away.” It is the documentation of that decisive moment that preserves memory and rouses creativity, whether instantly or years later. Photographs that inspired great literary works will be introduced and discussed. Workshop participants will explore subtle and artful themes embedded in photographs and consider how their interpretations may infuse and color subsequent story lines.
Your Coming Forth Story Starters with Kakwasi Somadhi—“. . .[Loretha’s] thoughts could travel, revisiting the highs and lows of her life, which she did often.”
–from Coming Forth by Day
Participants will respond to writing prompts designed to bring forth the stories embedded in their lives. Looking for common themes, they will explore how their stories quilt together into a tapestry reflecting the highs and lows of their unique journey. And finally, they will write a bit of fiction or mini-memoir that represents their coming forth stories. * Participants should bring writing tools: laptop, or paper and pen.
The Art of Word Weaving with Dr. VS Chochezi and Staajabu—Join mother/daughter poetry team Dr. V.S. Chochezi and Staajabu, known as Straight Out Scribes, as they describe and demonstrate their unique style of spoken word and how they craft their art.
Remember Me: Seven “Other” Ways to Tell Your Story with Marie Taylor—Birth, school, family, marriage, career—throw in some influence from culture and society, and you have a life story. Or do you? Starting from the cradle to ending in maturity may be a logical way to tell the story of your life, but is it the only way, or the best way? Or could you pick a format and structure for your narrative that better reflects who you are, what you did, what you enjoyed, how you viewed your world? In this workshop you learn seven alternative ways to tell your story, including: vignettes, memoirs, photo journals, themed narratives, and treasure boxes.