The Heart of Memoir Writing Retreats

The Soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
                                                                                            Emily Dickinson

37115165576bf76ddda96a3c51e11310--lake view

 Varenna, Lake Como, Italy
September 20–26, 2015   

Recent California Writing Retreats

September 27–29, 2013 Laguna Beach
January 26/Feb 2, 2013–Pleasanton
April 22, 2012—Read Booksellers, Danville
March 24, 2012—Private Home, Laguna Beach
September, 25, 2011—Read Booksellers, Danville
August 20, 20111—Laguna Beach Books
March 11, 2011—Private Clubhouse, Pleasanton

 

The Heart of Memoir Writing

Turn your life experiences into literature as you discover the heart in your
life story and become a part of a community of supportive writers.

Whether you attend a day-long or week-long session, you’ll find your writing goals are respected and your perspective encouraged in my workshops. Both aspiring and experienced writers benefit from the instruction and activities. Some experienced writers, perhaps stuck in their process, come for the new stimulation of the workshop setting.  Some are interested in writing narrative nonfiction for the first time (former journalists, poets, novelists, journal keepers).  Aspiring writers come to the workshop to find the motivation for becoming dedicated writers. In any case, you will be joining a community of supportive writers, some whom you may stay in touch with for years following the workshop. It happens in every session.

My instruction focuses on narrative nonfiction writing, sometimes called creative nonfiction—first-person writing that includes memoir, travel, food, and the personal essay. Although the majority of the workshop concerns the craft of writing, we discuss the publishing process briefly. My work with writers emphasizes the narrator’s voice and role, structuring and organizing content, effective language.  Sessions include the analysis of published writing, in class writing exercises, learning to give and receive feedback.

Shorter workshops offer a jump-start and immediate inspiration so you can get underway composing your memories and experiences. Longer workshops offer more in-depth analysis of the genre and feature more complex techniques to develop and revise writing. You might want to read some of the posts on my blog, ~the art in the heart~ to get an idea of my instructional emphasis.

Kind Words

Lana Jones, Laguna Beach, CA
Thank you for all your expertise and inspiration. The writer’s group some of us formed from your workshop has been a wonderful experience. I am on my way to writing something of my own. Our workshop has been a wonderful boost for me on my journey.

Gretchen Givens, Martinez, CA
This memoir writing workshop was one of the best I have ever taken. Kathryn is congenial, highly qualified, and came loaded with handouts and useful information. For years, I have wanted to write a memoir, but didn’t know how to begin or put it into form. Kathryn’s training on structure has helped to organize my thoughts so I can begin. In addition to being instructive, the informal workshop was lots of fun.

Kathleen Mohn, Oakland, CA
Kathryn’s weekend writing workshop got me restarted on my writing project, which is to write essays about each of my five grandchildren as they grow up. I had been wallowing in slugville and not taking imitative, but now I’m eager to try out the structure and sentence techniques Kathryn showed our group that we applied to our in-class writing. Kathryn knows writing inside and out and appears to love passing on her knowledge. Everyone finished the two days feeling enthusiastic and ready to move forward with their writing. 

Creativity takes courage. If a story were ever to be written truthfully
from start to finish, it would amaze everyone.
                                                                                                     Henri Matisse 

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