for writers and readers….

Everyone has a story to tell – discover how to tell yours

I’m excited about a new memoir/family history workshop I’m running over four Saturday mornings in November in a wonderfully atmospheric historic building.
And I’m not doing it on my own. It’s great to be working with artist-printmaker Jill Vigus again because together we can explore traditional and non-traditional ways of bringing the past to life – your own past or the past of your parents and family.

WHEN: Four Saturday mornings in November:
2ND, 9TH, 16TH and 23RD
10am to 1pm
WHERE: The Regency Town House in Brunswick Square, Hove BN3 1EH.
It’s on most main Brighton bus routes (including the 700 which goes from Brighton to Shoreham, Littlehampton and beyond). It’s also easy travelling distance from Brighton or Hove train station.
HOW MUCH £85 for all four weeks

We will introduce you to storytelling techniques that can make life writing as vivid and exciting as fiction while still being factually accurate.

Remembering childhood….

We will pack a lot into each three hour session. Do you have mementos you treasure? It could be anything from the wooden spoon your mother stirred the gravy with on Sunday mornings or the hat she wore on her wedding day: it might be your father’s favourite tie or the book he was presented with the day he left school. Find ways of presenting them so they become part of your parents’ story.

Extracts from letters and copies of precious photographs can be used in small hand-made books to capture an experience or a moment.

Don’t rummage around in your past for ‘important’ events…. Write about small, self-contained incidents that are still vivid in your memory. If you remember them it is because they contain a larger truth that your readers will recognize in their own lives.”
William Zinsser

  • Develop your writing skills
  • Experiment with form and language
  • Discover alternative ways of using images from a variety of sources
  • Capture moments and events by creating instant books and writing short articles
  • Learn how to fill the gaps in family history
Many of our ancestors came here from other countries
or had to leave this country for a new life elsewhere

Perhaps your research has taken you further back in history – Jill and are both experienced researchers and will be able to help and perhaps even suggest new routes to follow.

A bit about us

Some of you will have been following this blog for a good few years and know me quite well even if we’ve never met, others will have just come across it…. so here goes.

I was a newspaper researcher before I changed careers after winning £4000 in an international short story competition (back in the day when $4000 meant a new kitchen). It wasn’t an overnight thing. I didn’t give up my job thinking I could earn my living by writing fiction (very few writers are able to support themselves through writing alone) but it did motivate me to do a Masters in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College. Three years later I went back as a lecturer in autobiography and biography.
I have taught in many other places too in this country and abroad and I retain a passion for creative non-fiction, especially when it reveals the experiences of people who – for want of a better word – are ordinary in the sense that they aren’t celebrities or courting fame, people like us.
I’ve published biographical essays and been writer in residence on two life writing projects funded by the National Lottery. I have also published a novel set in London and Ireland in the early 1960s A Good Confession and a popular guide on writing. You can find more details in the right hand column.

An artist/printmaker for over 30 years, she has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad and has an MA in Sequential Design/Illustration from Brighton University. As well as making prints, she has developed a range of artist books both simple and complex. You can find her and some of her work on Instagram

Jill and I together in the basement kitchen of The Regency Town House

We both have teaching qualifications in adult education and lots of experience… Everyone has a story to tell. Is it time to tell yours?

We would be very grateful if you could help us to spread the word about this course – perhaps by tweeting or posting it to facebook. Thank You!

3 comments on “Everyone has a story to tell – discover how to tell yours

  1. beth
    October 4, 2019

    this sounds like a wonderful opportunity for people to find a way to pass on their stories

    • bridget whelan
      October 4, 2019

      Thanks Beth – I think it is and I love reading other people’s histories. It’s the best way of discovering what it was like back then – whenever then is.

      • beth
        October 4, 2019

        I so agree

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