By Annette Smith, Community Relations, Hutchinson Public Library
Friends of the Hutchinson Public Library sponsored a Weekend Memoir Writing Workshop featuring writing instructor Lisa Dale Norton of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The workshop took place October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the Hutchinson Art Center and at the Hutchinson Public Library.
Sixteen participants began the workshop with an informal open discussion of memoirs and a get-acquainted session on Friday evening at the Hutchinson Art Center. Then on Saturday and Sunday, Lisa shared a process she has created, honed and taught to writers of all skill levels for years. She guided everyone step-by-step through instruction, group discussion, creative exercises, small group interaction, and periods of private writing time. Attendees learned a writing process that can be used again and again, and by the time they shared their short memoirs on Sunday, they were all more like family than merely workshop participants.
Lisa Dale Norton is the author of SHIMMERING IMAGES: A HANDY LITTLE GUIDE TO WRITING MEMOIR (Griffin/St. Martin’s Press), and the literary memoir, HAWK FLIES ABOVE: JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF THE SANDHILLS (Picador/St. Martin’s Press). She blogs for The Huffington Post about relationships between narrative and contemporary culture, writes a monthly column on narrative nonfiction for Authorlink.com, and teaches memoir writing classes at her website: www.lisadalenorton.com. She works internationally with writers who are completing book manuscripts for publication, and appears in various forums across the country speaking about the art and craft of writing and the transformative power of story. Lisa is on the faculty of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.
The weekend workshop was free of charge, and the Friends of the Hutchinson Public Library provided funding. Our Bru Crue Coffee Shop manager, Michelle Hampton, served the most exquisite tea, coffee, scones, trifle, lemon curd, Devonshire cream, and other various English tea goodies for breaks. She received a well deserved round of applause on Sunday for her efforts. We appreciate the Friends of HPL; Mark Rassette, Hutchinson Art Center Director; Sheila Lisman, Mini Memoirs instructor; Kristine Tossie, personal friend of Lisa Dale Norton (and HPL computer training instructor); for their never-ending support to make this workshop possible.