Feb 20 – March 13: Truth, Lies and Storytelling

Truth, Lies and Storytelling
Zoe FitzGerald Carter

February 20 – March 13, 2013
The Grotto, 490 2nd St, San Francisco

CarterZoeFitzGerald-2Number of sessions: 4
Meeting time: Wednesday nights
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Course fee: $260.
($100 deposit required to register; deposits are nonrefundable.)

To register, contact Zoe at: zoecarter@mac.com.

Description: This class is for writers who are grappling with how to shape and structure personal, non-fiction stories, either in the form of memoir or first-person essays. Whether your writing is largely theoretical or fully underway, this class will give you a chance to develop a practical and conceptual framework to move ahead.

Over four evenings, we will explore the essential components of memoir from the pragmatic (Do I need a disclaimer? Are pseudonyms necessary?) to the philosophical (What does “truth” in memoir really mean and when is it okay to shade that truth?) to process (How do we take emotional memories and translate them on the page?).

Along the way, we will talk about form (timelines, story arc, beginnings and endings), as well as craft (dialogue, scene, language) and will read examples from various literary memoirs and first-person essays.

Students will be asked to complete one writing exercise for each class and to bring in a short reading from home that will be critiqued with enormous respect and kindness by the class. If reading out loud makes you break out in hives, other arrangements can be made.

Zoe FitzGerald Carter is the author of the memoir, Imperfect Endings: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Loss, and Letting Go (Simon & Schuster). The book chronicles her mother’s decision to end her life after living with Parkinson’s disease for many years and the struggle Zoe and her two sisters had coming to terms with that choice.

Paula Span of The New York Times said, “I could quote from this book all day,” and People magazine wrote Imperfect Endings “coaxes beauty from the bleak.”

A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, Zoe has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Salon and Vogue. Imperfect Endings was excerpted in O magazine, chosen as a finalist for the National MS Society’s Books for a Better Life Awards in the “Inspirational Memoir” category, and is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writer’s pick.

Zoe currently lives in the Bay Area and is at work on a non-fiction book about race, Facebook and unexpected kinship. Learn more at www.ImperfectEndings.com.

Zoe can be contacted at zoecarter@mac.com.


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