Autobiographical Novel, Personal Essay, Memoir – Confused yet?
Even reviewers call personal essays memoirs and memoirs autobiographies. Is a novel always fictional? Can you mix genres? What makes the different structures different?
Most importantly, once you get your understanding straight, how do you decide what the right form is for the story you are trying to tell? Is it about what you feel most comfortable with or what suits the material you are writing about?
In this one-day workshop we’ll hash out these concepts to bring clarity to your work. Learn some of the pros and cons for each form. We will also discuss the ethical issues that may arise from selecting one form over another.
Bring a piece or two of your own writing and see what fits for you.
Karen Lee is a lover of different forms of writing – she leans definitely on the non-fiction side but has been known to stray. Her first book was Consulting into the Future (2002) Hodder & Stoughton, and her second was The Full Catastrophe: A Memoir (2016) She Writes Press. She has been teaching memoir writing at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre for seven years and is presently working on a personal essay about the process of writing a difficult memoir.