In this workshop, participants will explore how memoir writers reconstruct dialogue in order to capture the spirit of conversations by drawing on their recollections of a specific time and place, character traits like mannerisms and speech patterns, and character motives and relationships. USM's Glickman Library in Portland, ME, from 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
"When I commit words to the page, I’m embarking on a rigorous and intentional act of self-reflection. As a memoirist, though, my journey doesn’t stop there. By writing through my stories, I’m engaging in an act of community. I’m seeking language that bridges my experiences with those of others, and I’m hoping that my words will open space for their words." - Melanie Brooks
"I believe there’s deep merit to giving this narrative shape to our painful stories. Writing about traumatic experiences do not repair them. However, re-entering those memories, taking them apart, and then putting them back together again on my own terms, has transformed them into something meaningful, maybe even beautiful, for me and, I hope, for my readers, too." -Melanie Brooks
I'm honored to have Writing Hard Stories featured in a memoir book roundup on Signature Reads, Penguin Random House's reading blog, among so many books that have been influential to my own writing process.
PROXIMITY MAGAZINE'S "TRUE" - A CONVERSATION WITH MELANIE BROOKS
"Every time I sat down with one of these writers and listened to them talk candidly about their own journeys to bring their stories to the page, I found similarities in their processes and mine, and listened to their encouragement that always included the promise that I would get to a place where I felt differently about my story, where I could breathe a little bit easier. " - Melanie Brooks
"It takes a lot of emotional soul searching and deep diving into our memories and our experiences in order for us to reach that place of authenticity and really discover what the authentic story is behind our experiences." - Melanie Brooks
“It’s not about necessarily letting the story go, but it’s kind of re-envisioning it in a way that it doesn’t become such a burdensome thing. Writing about it will, in some way, change the story for you or change the way you carry that story.” - Melanie Brooks
"In challenging my own silence around my personal grief and loss and trauma, I'm trying to challenge a silence around those same topics that is embedded in our culture. Perhaps my voice can contribute to a world of fewer secrets, of more openness, of more care and support for those dealing with their own difficult truths."
"For writers struggling with the next step of their journeys, Brooks’ work is a signpost showing them the way, urging them onward, offering companionship, and ultimately proving that the destination is already well within sight, even if they can’t yet see it. "