Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cairns in summer


I'm about to make my first mid-summer trip to Cairns, a place I've loved visiting in the past, although admittedly those trips were in winter and early spring. And yet I'm excited by the prospect of heat and humidity that apparently makes even Brisbane seem mild by comparison.

On Friday 16 February, I'll be speaking about the sagas, Iceland, and Saga Land at a lunch held at the Shangri-La Hotel. And then over the weekend I'll be heading up to Atherton to run a series of workshops on the theme of writing fiction that is drawn from lived experiences and the people we know. 

The workshop series is called The Artful Life: From Memoir to Fiction, a title I've borrowed from a university course that I lecture.

Here's a short description of the kinds of things we'll be covering:

It's often said that you should 'write what you know.' But what does this really mean? How do you turn lived experience into a basis for fiction and nonfiction works? This series of workshops will instruct you in elements of creative writing practice that relate to both forms, while helping you think about the often very productive relationship between your experiences and your creative outputs. How, for instance, might you base a character in a novel on a real person in your life? What are the limits on the writer of nonfiction in telling what they feel is their story? Are writing techniques (like plot, dialogue, character) the same in fiction and nonfiction? And how do you know whether your experiences are actually interesting to others, and worth sharing with a wider audience?

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Interviewed by Fiona Sewell, ABC Cairns

Kuranda Train Station, 2004
Kuranda Canoe Hire, 2004