In this series of workshops, we will explore narrative, reflective, and poetic writing techniques that will encourage the uncovering of memories, both celebratory and otherwise, in an attempt to not only craft our unique stories, but to find greater peace within ourselves, our family, and the world around us.
About the facilitators
Rosemarie Dombrowski and Melissa Leto are creative writers (poets and memoirists) who believe that writing is our greatest ally, a means to cultivating resilience and evolving our ability to heal the wounds and traumas of our past. Both are facilitators for Revisionary Arts, a nonprofit that provides therapeutic poetry and narrative workshops: revisionaryarts.org
Opening activity (5-7 min.)
• Let’s start by recalling a cherished memory, something that might’ve been seemingly insignificant at the time, but that might be a source of hope or joy now.
• Now we’d like you to write a three-sentence story about it.
• Within the space of those three sentences, give your story a beginning, middle, end.
Brief Tutorial (30 min.)
• what is personal writing/memoir?
• the tools/characteristics of good memoir writing
• micro-memoir reading and discussion (I typically use something from Beth Ann Fennelly’s micro-memoir collection)
Closing Activity/Writing Prompt (20 min.)
• Let’s close with an extension of the writing exercise we opened with.
• We’d like you take those three sentences/memory fragments and develop each into its own paragraph.
• Begin elaborating on the first sentence by using time and place markers.
• Use sensory details, character action and/or dialogue to develop the second paragraph—anything that helps to recreate the scene, the facets of it that you’d like to highlight
• By the time you get to third, your story should be reaching its climax.
o Given that this is a flash memoir, feel free to leave it a little unresolved. No need to struggle toward something that feels conclusive or reflective.