The Art of the Memoir with Alison Wearing

Our lives are woven together by fascinating stories, relationships, experiences, and revelations, but how do we transform those into something others would like to read? This concern is one of the essential questions we face when writing about our lives, and it is one of dozens that will be skillfully addressed in the Write Now Retreat focusing on the art of the memoir, led by award-winning author Alison Wearing.

Over the course of three days of instruction and valuable one-on-one consultation, you will be offered the tools you need to structure and sculpt your personal stories successfully, as well as the answers to a number of important considerations such as: How do we choose which of our innumerable stories to put on the page? How can we write about difficult situations or people, especially if those people are still alive? How does one recreate dialogue in a convincing and truthful way? Is it possible to write accurately about something that happened decades ago? Where is the line between memory and fiction?

Together with a group of like-minded writers and Alison’s patient, personalized, and humour-laced guidance, you will find the clarity, direction, and inspiration you need to move forward with your memoir project.

This retreat is appropriate for emerging writers interested in memoirs, experienced writers who find themselves feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or out of steam, or anyone who has simply had a long-held dream to write their story and decided that now is finally, finally, the time.

About Write Now Retreats

Each year, we assemble a team of award-winning authors to lead intensive writing retreats with daily instruction, one-on-one consultations, creative exercises to encourage and inspire writing, and an exclusive pass to the Stratford Writers Festival. Surrounded by Stratford’s artistic vibe, this creative and nurturing environment helps take your writing to the next level, whatever stage you’re at. For more information, visit the Write Now Retreat page and read through the detailed FAQ section.

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About Alison Wearing

Alison Wearing is the author of the internationally acclaimed travel memoir Honeymoon in Purdah: an Iranian Journey, in addition to prize-winning articles, essays, short stories, and solo plays. Her most recent work, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, is both a memoir and a one-woman play. The memoir was nominated for the RBC Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction, shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction, named one of Indigo’s Top 50 Books of 2013, and became a national bestseller. The play has won numerous awards, including Best Dramatic Script at New York City’s United Solo, the largest festival of solo theatre in the world. Alison performs, speaks, and teaches writing workshops at home, abroad, and online. She is based in Stratford, Ontario.


“Alison’s animated, often humorous, anecdotes about her own writing process have us excited to write, write and write! I never want it to be over.”
~ Astrid Russell, Stratford

“Alison’s workshop was the key that unlocked my voice, the fire that lit my confidence and the sage that inspired my daily writing practice. Still going strong.”
~ Pam Beatson, Toronto

“It’s not that Alison simply holds a mirror to reflect what it is you need to see within yourself and your writing; rather, it is as if she holds a body of water of immeasurable depth that allows you to go as deep as you need to find out who you really are and what you really want to say.”
~ Carolyn Agis, Brooklyn, NY

“Frankly, it was a life-changing experience and I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
~ Marion Adler, Stratford

“Alison Wearing’s writing workshop was a joy from start to finish. She is incisive in her observations, yet unfailingly supportive and inspirational.”
~ Peter R. Newman, Toronto

“My writing improved 100%.”
~ Sheila Urquidi, Mexico City

“Alison’s classes are pure JOY.”
~ Basia Del Fante, Neustadt

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Have you considered writing a memoir? What do you think would present the biggest challenge?

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