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Event Details

  • Date:23 Feb 2024

  • Time:11:00am - 12:30pm (Australia/Melbourne)

  • Location: Online

Event description

Vision Australia Library is delighted to present the next Write Your Life memoir writing series, facilitated by Writer’s Victoria for previous participants of Write Your Life. Over six sessions you will learn about:

Friday February 23: Writing Place in Memoir with Sian Prior
Friday March 1: The Body in Memoir with Kris Kneen
Friday March 8: Considering Your Audience with Nevo Zisin
Friday March 15: Developing Emotions in Memoir with Lee Kofman
Friday March 22: Writing Family with Katherine Tamiko
Thursday March 28: Playing with Form in Memoir with Eloise Grills (Please note the final session will be on a Thursday due to the Good Friday public holiday).

Who is it for

These workshops are free and open to Vision Australia Library members aged 18 and over, who have previously participated in a Write Your Life series.

Workshop and Presenter Information

Friday February 23: Writing Place in Memoir with Sian Prior

Writing about place in memoir involves more than just describing landscape or geography – even though those things can be important. Place is also bound up in the psychological lives of characters – including ourselves, as narrators. Place can evoke strong emotions – positive and negative. Place can impact on your options and choices in life. Conjuring a vivid sense of place can immerse the reader in your world, your past, your present, even your future – a form of immersion writing. In this workshop you will learn how to evoke a strong sense of place in your personal narrative non fiction writing.

About Sian Prior

Dr Sian Prior has been a writer, broadcaster and writing teacher for 25 years. She has written for newspapers, magazines and literary journals, and won awards for her short stories. Sian teaches creative non fiction at RMIT University and runs writing workshops for community groups around Australia. She has written two books: Shy: a memoir (2014) and Childless: a story of freedom and longing (2022), published by Text Publishing.

Friday March 1: The Body in Memoir with Kris Kneen

When you write memoir your body is implicated, but people often forget that the specifics of your physical body impact the work you are writing. Your bodily presence will inform your personal story. In this online workshop, Kris Kneen will help you explore some techniques of written embodiment, and discuss the importance of being open and honest about your own body and your relationship to it in the writing of your memoir. The group will also explore techniques for helping a reader feel like they are physically inhabiting whatever story you have to tell.

About Kris Kneen

Kris Kneen is the award-winning author of fiction, poetry and non-fiction including An Uncertain Grace which was shortlisted for the Stella Prize, Wintering and The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen. Their poetry collection Eating My Grandmother won the Thomas Shapcott Prize. Their latest memoir Fat Girl Dancing was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. They have written and directed broadcast television documentaries and were the Copyright Agency Ltd Non-fiction Fellow in 2020.

Friday March 8: Considering Your Audience with Nevo Zisin

At what stage in the writing process should we be considering our audience? What must we understand about them and how might that tailor the ways we write or edit? What are our responsibilities to our readers? This workshop explores various aspects of considering one's audience, the symbiotic relationship that is created between writer and reader and ways we might simultaneously hold our story while honouring how it might meet someone else.

About Nevo Zisin

Nevo Zisin is an artist and storyteller whose work explores queerness, collective healing and liberation, complexities of transgender identity and its divinity, finding deeply joyful ways to engage in activism and solidarity, making mistakes and creating a practice of failure. They are the author of two non-fiction books, Finding Nevo and The Pronoun Lowdown, but their greatest accomplishments in life, beyond anything, are their friendships.

Friday March 15: Developing Emotions in Memoir with Lee Kofman

The big words we use to denote emotions – anger, love, embarrassment – actually don’t mean that much. Different people experience such feelings differently, plus each of these emotions also comes in many shades for the same person. It is the writer’s job to work with the gaps in language and, instead of using these big ‘blanket words’, to unpick them. Another challenge writers face is articulating those vague feelings which we all occasionally experience, but have no names for. In this workshop, writers will further their understanding of psychological complexity and will learn how to describe our emotional landscapes in vivid and clear ways.

About Lee Kofman

Lee Kofman is the author of six books, including Imperfect (2019, Affirm Press), which was shortlisted for the Nib Literary Award 2019, and The Dangerous Bride (2014, MUP); editor of Split (Ventura, 2019), which was longlisted for ABIA Awards 2020, and co-editor of Rebellious Daughters (Ventura, 2016). Her short works have been widely published and her blog was a finalist for Best Australian Blogs 2014. Her most recent book is The Writer Laid Bare (Ventura, 2022).

Friday March 22: Writing Family with Katherine Tamiko

Families, whether predetermined or chosen, provide seams of narrative gold. In memoir, the complex dynamics between family members can provide page-turning dramatic tension and conflict. This course will show you how to navigate the sometimes fraught process of writing about your family; how to choose which point of view to highlight family dynamics; how to use time shifts to foreshadow or reveal; how to use the family home and other settings to lend authenticity to your writing, and how to create believable and distinctive characters within a family that will draw in your reader.

About Katherine Tamiko

Born and raised in Tokyo, Katherine Tamiko Arguile is an author and arts journalist of mixed Japanese and British heritage. She has written short stories, reviews and essays for Liminal, Spineless Wonders, Momaya Press, SBS and InDaily. Her novel, The Things She Owned, was published in 2020 and shortlisted for the MUD Prize for best debut literary fiction by an Australian author. Her first nonfiction book, Meshi – A personal history of Japanese food, was published in 2022.

Thursday March 27: Playing with Form in Memoir with Eloise Grills

In this engaging workshop, writers will be introduced to experimental techniques in memoir, including fragmentation, playing with voice and perspective, formal innovation and other techniques to heighten the immediacy and the meaning of the work.

About Eloise Grills

Eloise Grills is a writer, artist and poet interested in hybrid forms. She has been published by Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and other journals and anthologies. Her most recent book, big beautiful female theory, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Indie Book Award for Illustrated Nonfiction.


For more information on this series and other programs offered by the library contact Vision Australia Library on 1300 654 656 or email [email protected]

Register your attendance at this link.