Author Lee Kofman says: ‘Memoirists write directly about what matters to them, whereas fiction writers may sublimate their experiences and passions.’ The first half of her dictum is certainly true: memoirists are concerned with what matters to them. Whole books are devoted to the second part of Lee's hypothesis. But let’s look at memoir for … Continue reading The Intimacy of Memoir
Do people ask you how your writing is going? I’m sure we all get asked that. Who knows what the right answer is. One acquaintance of mine enquired further: ‘But are you penning or writing?’ he said. I didn't know the difference. ‘Well,’ he replied, ‘ C. (his partner) tells me she's been writing during … Continue reading Writing or Penning?
Writing in a journal is not for everyone. But then again, neither is writing. For those of us who do like to write, journaling can be appealing. Of late, I have returned to the practice of free-hand writing in my notebook. It’s been a hopscotch couple of years as the pandemic endures. Maybe because it’s … Continue reading Journaling
Flannery O’Connor writes, ‘ … anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.’ If you, like me, write about your family – unavoidable in memoir - how do you do that without hurt? One of my brothers, upon hearing that I was writing about … Continue reading Putting the Family in Memoir
As you might know, my writing group, Elwood Writers, is an active and committed cohort of four,. Member, Barry Lee Thompson, recently wrote about the group on The Writing Life, a blog hosted by Lee Kofman. Lee is the author of fiction and non-fiction books, and a superlative teacher - among other talents - of … Continue reading The Writing Group
I wrote this post for the Elwood Writers blog in October 2021 - view here. The post is in answer to Helen McDonald's questions to us about why we write our individual blogs, and who our intended audience is. Why I Write my Blog I set up the Writings and Musings blog because I wanted to have … Continue reading Why Writings and Musings?
Wiradjuri writer, Tara June Winch, gave this advice to entrants for Australia's SBS Emerging Writers' Competition in which she is a judge:"When you read your story aloud, when you edit and read it again and again, your work becomes the fire pit reflected in your eyes.' To read more about the competition, View here. The … Continue reading Slow Writing
We at Elwood Writers are excited to announce that Broken Rules and Other Stories by Barry Lee Thompson has been shortlisted for the 2021 University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award. To see the shortlisted authors and judges comments, click here. Barry has been a founding member of Elwood Writers since 2007. He is the recipient … Continue reading Queensland Literary Awards, Barry’s collection shortlisted
What is the inciting incident that sparks a memoir? This question might apply to fiction writers too. It is any turning point in a life. For memoirists, Kaylie Jones says it's the moment 'the rock came through the window’; the day one's life went ‘careening out of control’. The inciting incident is a great place … Continue reading The Inciting Incident
In a writing workshop, teacher Kaylie Jones encouraged us to give ourselves permission to write. Busting myths, she said, is what the writer must do. The right to write might be more pertinent to the memoirist than it is to the fiction writer, as for us there is less distance between ourselves and the story. … Continue reading The Right to Write