Saturday, April 25, 2009

The NCWN Spring Conference is over for this year. I enjoyed every minute, but now I'm back in my room after eating a steak dinner.
Barry has faired well, and I think he even enjoyed the trip.
One of the sessions I attended at the conference was led by Ed Southern, Executive Director of NCWN, who is also an author with a background in publishing. The subject was editing non-fiction. A packed room held mostly memoir writers. Ed stressed the importance of telling the truth in autobiographical writing. But he also spoke on the subject of chronological writing. As in fiction, we don't have to begin our life stories with "I was born in 1950 in Franklin, NC."
In fact, we can begin our memoir with the climax of the story if we want. Then we return to the beginning events and go forth.
I teach students to write in episodes, telling a complete story that can be filed under the title of a major turning poit. For instance, one folder will be titled Childhood, another titled College, etc. We can write stories from any part of our lives and file them in the correct folder.
Later we can pull out our stories and compile them chronically to form a book.
I am in process of combining a number of personal essays to form a small memoir. It seems that small presses would rather publish a book of short pieces than a novel or autobiography.
Maybe this book won't be too difficult to get published.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Good luck with your collection! *smiling*!

I love personal essays. The R&T doesn't get enough good personal essays - we mostly receive fiction.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Well, Kat, maybe I'll send you some of mine.Then we'll see how "good" they are.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
I know you are a busy person with your great new novel.