Wednesday, June 18, 2008

great U of T course, July 7 to 11

Writers, Continuing Studies at the U of T is running a summer writing program July 7 to 11, and there is some space left in my section.  It's a course entitled Narrative Non-fiction, which covers a large spectrum - biography, memoir, personal essay, as well as more journalistic pieces.  The great thing is that you will have a lot of time and attention in a small class, as we spend the mornings workshopping writing and doing some in-class work, with at least one session focussed entirely on you and your work and needs.  In the afternoons, the U of T is presenting some panels, including Noah Richler talking about the importance of place in writing, and another panel on the business of writing. 

If you're interested, go to and look under writing programs to find the summer ones. 

I have just finished reading Pierre Berton's "The Joy of Writing."  It's an upbeat, gossipy, practical book full of useful advice, with 30 rules for writers (Rule # 1 - Know and understand your audience.  Rule # 6 - Don't give up your day job.  Rule # 15 - Dig deeper.) He includes pages of his rewrites or of editors' comments to show how the process works. 

"You can learn a good deal about the techniques of storytelling, " he says,"by listening to bad storytellers, some of whom may be your friends and relatives."


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