“I start at the beginning, go on to the end, then stop.” Anthony Burgess
Can writing really be that simple? Yes, when you give yourself some time and know where to start. In this three-day memoir workshop, you’ll get to practice the art of beginnings that lead naturally to satisfying middles and ends. Even the writing assignments will focus on the power of “firsts.” As you write about and share some of the starting points in your life, you’ll discover (or remember) how your innate storytelling abilities and the happy pressure of deadlines can contribute to your success as a memoirist. This class welcomes all skill levels, so what are you waiting for? Let’s begin!
The hours between breakfast and lunch are for lessons, discussion, and plenty of writing. Your homework will keep you busy but won’t prevent you from enjoying the delights of Emandal during the afternoons and evenings. Even if you prefer to compose on a laptop, please bring a notebook, in case you want to do some writing in the field. (For research hounds, keep in mind there is limited internet use.)
Additional Supplies Participants Should Bring to the Workshop: Bring a copy of a family recipe, 4 or 5 photos that feature people you know, 3-5 quotes that appeal to you, and your favorite writing equipment. If you bring a computer, please carry along a small notebook, too, in case you want to do some writing in the field. Also, keep in mind that there is extremely limited Internet use.
“An inspired coach and teacher, Susan coaxes true, deep, and revelatory work from her charges. Come ready to be gently persuaded and ardently supported in Susan’s workshop . . . and your writing will surprise you!” – Susan G. Duncan, poet
“Susan Bono is a thoughtful and enthusiastic teacher. Her writing workshop at Emandal was both inspiring and challenging—not only did we work on writing within our group, we had assignments to take with us on our treks through the trees. It was an absolute pleasure and I look forward to more in the future.” – Nancy Cherry, poet
“Susan Bono has a knack for a gentle and well-timed kick in the pants that will help you soar by leaps and bounds over creative obstacles. You’ll be astonished by what comes out of your pen while you are under her spell. Her ArtStay workshop is a great place to get going or get the cobwebs out of your writing.” – Susan Starbird, founding editor of Susan, the Magazine
“Last year, for the first time, I joined Susan Bono at Emandal for her writers retreat. Over the course of four days I witnessed self-proclaimed “non-writers” not only write heart-wrenchingly beautiful stories, but bravely stand and read them in front of the entire camp. I can’t wait to return this year where I expect to meet the friends I made last year.” – Ginny Rorby, author of Hurt Go Happy, The Outside of a Horse, Lost in the River of Grass, How to Speak Dolphin, and other young adult novels.
About the Instructor
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 the Mendocino 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. Visit her website for more information: www.susanbono.com