Program Highlights: Spring Memoir-Writing Workshop

Program Highlights: Spring Memoir-Writing Workshop

This spring, we held our second annual memoir-writing workshop, “To Remember Is to Remake,” for writers ages sixty-five and older. All levels of writing experience were welcome, and everyone contributed their own creative perspectives and rich life experiences to creating a supportive writing community. As an intern at TCPL, and as a writer myself, I had the privilege and delight of facilitating the class from week to week.

During the first half of the eight-week class, our writers explored various craft elements like description, character development, and dialogue through in-class and at-home writing exercises. We also read and discussed excerpts of published memoirs for inspiration. Then, during the second half of the class, writers shared their own works-in-progress, which fellow participants offered feedback on during peer workshop sessions. Each week, fueled by tasty snacks and lively conversation, our writers offered new insights and challenges about the creative practice of writing memoir.

On the last day of June, we marked the end of class with a literary reading, open to the public, in the BorgWarner Room. We welcomed over twenty people in the audience that day, all of whom came out on a hot summer’s day to hear our writers’ work. Our writers shared their stories aloud with great intention, integrity, and, just as often, humor. Afterward we feted our writers and their literary work with light refreshments and sparkling lemonade.

Now more than ever, we need to tell our stories and tell them boldly – and this spring, our writers did just that. Many of them are continuing to develop their writing practice and have begun work on book-length memoirs or legacy pieces for family members.

A special thank you to all our writers for participating in this spring’s memoir workshop.

And of course, sincere thanks to Teresa Vadakin, Head of Information and Learning Services, for her support and mentorship (and provision of weekly snacks!).

Paige Chant, Intern