“Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained.”

-Thomas M. Cirignano, The Constant Outsider

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Join us Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 for a Bob Welch-led workshop devoted fully to not only the writing of your own story — or your family’s own story — but turning it into an actual book. Within months. And without all the headaches you might expect.

What: A one-day workshop devoted specifically to memoir writing and printing.

Who: Anyone interested in either or both of these pursuits. Your level of writing is irrelevant. What matters is your level of commitment.

Where: The Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St, Eugene.

When: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.

Cost: $199. ($179 if registered by midnight Dec. 31, 2018.)

Includes: Critique by Welch of a 1,500-word sample of your work — before the workshop (optional); six hours of instruction; free, personally autographed copy of Welch’s memoir Pebble in the Water, detailing the researching, writing, editing and promoting of his Oregon Book Award-finalist book American Nightingale. Lunch. Laughs. And lots of learning.

Teacher: Bob Welch, author of more than 25 books; former Register-Guard columnist; two-time winner of the National Society of Newspaper Columnist’s “Best Writing” award; former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon; founder of the Beachside Writers Workshop; National Writers Workshop presenter; and, most importantly, grandfather of Cade, 13; Avin, 11; Keaton, 8; Lincoln, 6; and McCoy, 4.

Purpose: A survey of our Beachside Writers once showed memoir writing was by far the genre of writing most people wanted to pursue. Thus, each year we’re committed to providing a workshop specifically on this subject. We want to hone that interest in a way that will take you from “thinking about doing a memoir” to actually doing one. “Courage and Craft” will explore both the emotional investment and the nuts-and-bolts “how-to” of the undertaking. We will take would-be memoir writers from idea, to planning, research, writing, editing, polishing, designing, and printing. And, meanwhile, delve into the “mental game” that you cannot overlook.

Atmosphere: Our writers’ workshop are designed to teach, challenge and inspire through a spirited, fun, non-competitive atmosphere. When you leave one of our workshops, our intent is that you’ll feel “well fed” — literally and figuratively. You will have laughed. You will have gotten your unique questions about writing answered. You’ll feel more confident. And you’ll feel more likely to take the risk of deepening your writing journey.


8:30 a.m. Check-in.

Part 1: Understanding the memoir 

8:45 a.m. What’s a memoir and why bother to write one?
9:00 a.m. Whose truth? What audience?
9:15 a.m. When and where are you going to write?
9:30 a.m. Where do you begin? (Hint: Not at the keyboard.)
9:45 a.m. How do you structure your story? What tone of writing?

10:00 a.m. (Break)

10:15 a.m. Ethics. Do you name names? Tell all? Lie a little?
10:30 a.m. Keeping it interesting: What to keep and what to throw?
10:45 a.m. Don’t just tell us, show us your life

11:00 a.m. (Break)

11:15 a.m. Involving all the senses so the reader is “there.”
11:30 a.m. Editing: Daring to have others help you make it better
11:45 a.m. Bells and whistles: Quotes? Photos? Graphics? Poetry? Appendixes?

Noon: Lunch

Part II: Challenging you as a writer 

12:45 p.m.  A writing exercise to hone your memoir skills.

1:45 p.m. (Break)

Part III: Gathering in small groups to discuss the obstacles

2 p.m.

3 p.m. (Break)

Part IV: Understanding the wonder of the “print-on-demand” option

3 p.m.

Part V: Asking the final questions, offering the final inspiration

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.   End of workshop. Go. Relax. Then commit. And write it.

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