Turning True Stories into Fiction

Turning True Stories into Fiction

Who: Michael Sala
Saturday 3 March 2018, 10am-4pm
Cost: Full Price:
$195; Member: $135; Conc Member: $120

The essential building material of both fiction and memoir is the writer’s life experiences. Our experiences include the people we have known or met, the problems we have encountered, and the events that have shaped us as people and writers. This course is designed to teach writers how to use writing craft to shape their personal experiences into compelling fiction—or to find a potent narrative thread in the autobiographical vantage point.

Participants will engage in a variety of writing activities involved in transmuting personal experience into compelling fiction, and learn how to establish character through dialogue and imagery.

Expected learning outcomes:

  1. Experience into material: Participants will develop their understanding of a range of creative writing techniques and strategies that are used to turn autobiographical material into narrative.
  2. Shaping the material: Participants will learn how to maximise the impact of structure at every level of their work from the sentence to each section or scene, to the piece as a whole.
  3. Characterisation: Participants will learn how to use dialogue and image to portray dynamic and complex characters and relationships, and they will also learn how to render place as a character in their writing.

Participant Requirements
Participants will engage in a number of writing activities during the day. They will need their pen and paper or fully charged laptops. They will be invited to share the work produced in the activities on the day, and comment on the work of others, but they will not be required to do so.

About the tutor
Michael Sala
’s first autobiographical novel The Last Thread won the UTS/Glenda Adams Award for New Writing in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and also the Commonwealth Book Prize (Pacific Region) in 2013. His latest novel is The Restorer, and he is currently working on a third novel. He was shortlisted for the Vogel/Australian Literary Award in 2007, and has published short stories in a number of national anthologies, including three times in Best Australian Stories. He lives in Newcastle, where he works as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Newcastle.


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