Getting to the truth in your story is more than just uncovering facts. Let the two Susans help you discover how uncertainty, conjecture, and creative fabrication are necessary when shaping memories into meaningful memoir. This playful, stimulating workshop will expand your sense of what’s possible in memoir and might very well change the way you view your life. Everyone has memories to play with and truths to embroider, so writers of all levels will find inspiration, success, and welcome. Fiction writers are also invited, since you already know the value of a wild tale and a good lie.
Our morning sessions start with creative stretching exercises led by Susan Starbird, who has been developing her own blend of “autobiofictionography” as publisher of Susan: The Magazine and in her studies with graphic novelist and cartoonist Lynda Barry. Susan Bono will take over until lunch with a variety of lessons derived from her 20 years as the editor/publisher of Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative and teaching memoir to writers from ages 15 to 99. After lunch, you’ll be free to explore the beauty of Emandal, nap, or otherwise amuse yourself, with enough optional writing assignments to keep you as busy as you desire.
Additional Supplies Students Should Bring to the Workshop: You may compose on a laptop, but include a notebook and a favorite writing instrument, along with 2 black Flair pens.
“The two Susans are both talented, creative, and supportive, with joyful senses of humor.” – Marilyn Petty, ArtStays 2013-2016
“Susan Bono is a wonderful writing workshop leader. Not only are her prompts evocative and original, but her way with students is warm, encouraging, and supportive. I write with Susan whenever I can.” – Jeanne Lupton, writer and cohost, Frank Bette Poetry Corner
“[Susan S.’s exercises] made me want to start drawing and painting again. Maybe even write! It gave me more confidence.” — Linda Saldaña, past workshop participant
“Susan Bono makes it safe for a person who has always wanted to write to put a toe in the water.” – Ginny Rorby, author of How to Speak Dolphin and other young adult novels. www.ginnyrorby.org
“I let go over and over again; [Susan S.’s exercises] unlocked the locks on my creativity.” — Irene Edwards, past workshop participant
“I have only the highest praise for Susan Bono’s abilities as a leader, mentor, and teacher. She turns questions or comments relating to the writing process into valuable lessons. I always leave her classes feeling inspired.” – Margit Liesche, author of Triptych and other mysteries www.margitliesche.com
“[Susan S.’ exercises] really illustrated how to start a creative process. It’s not so hard!” – Douglas Booth, past workshop participant
About the Instructors
Susan Bono is a Northern California freelance editor and writing teacher who edited and published Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative in print and online from 1995—2015. Her work has appeared in print, online, onstage and on the radio. She currently serves the boards of theMendocino Coast Writers’ Conference and Petaluma Readers Theatre. She teaches writing workshops and edits the Noyo River Review. Her collection of essays, What Have We Here: Essays about Keeping House and Finding Home, was published in 2014. www.susanbono.com
Susan Starbird is a Northern California essayist and cartoonist, and the writer and publisher of Susan The Magazine. Her work has appeared in Big Brick Review and West Marin Review, as well as in spoken form with Off The Page Reader’s Theater and Petaluma Reader’s Theater. When not writing she coaches the River Town Racers, a youth kayak racing club. www.susanstarbird.com