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Writing your heart out with Deborah Shepard

Writing your heart out with Deborah Shepard


An introduction to the art and craft of memoir


The Michael King Writers’ Centre is delighted to announce a new course on writing memoir to be led by author, film and art historian, and life writing mentor Deborah Shepard.

Deborah ShepardDeborah is the author of Reframing Women: A History of New Zealand Film (Harper Collins, 2000), Between the Lives: Partners in Art (Auckland University Press, 2005) and Her Life's Work (Auckland University Press, 2009) and a journal soon to be released, Giving Yourself to Life: A Journal of Pain, Hope and Renewal (Calico Publishing).

Deborah held the Autumn Residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in 2013, when she worked on her new book Writing Your Heart Out: the Art and Craft of Memoir. She taught memoir through the Centre for Continuing Education at The University of Auckland for eight years and ran a popular series of master classes in memoir at the Michael King Writers’ Centre earlier this year. She is a life writing mentor for the New Zealand Society of Authors and is the consultant biographer for Mercy Hospice, where she facilitates training workshops on the art of life reviewing. She runs a popular forum on her website where life writers post their stories, www.deborahshepardbooks.com.

There will be six memoir classes in the series, which will be held at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport starting in September. They will cover a definition of memoir, writing on childhood, an editing workshop, journaling and observational writing, the writing discipline and overcoming self-doubt, writing on friendship and love, ethical issues and advice about going public, a writer’s toolkit including a writing technique, tips on editing, style and form, research and professional presentation and at each session there will be writing exercises linked to each theme.

The programme of memoir classes is designed for people who people who have never written before and want to tell their story, and people who already enjoy writing and want to begin writing memoir or to improve their life writing. It will have an intensive small-group format.

The classes will start on September 23 and will run to October 28. They will be each Tuesday evening from 6 pm to 8.30 pm at the Michael King Writers’ Centre. The cost is $230 incl GST and the course will be limited to nine participants

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