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Writing Into The Blur: Using Brain Science to Write Your Memoir

Memory and Memoirs

Photo by Yvonne M. Estrada

Instructor: Wendy Fontaine

Open to: Writers of Memoir

Meets: Sunday, January 21, 2018

Duration:1-5 p.m.

Location: Writers At Work, 4022 Fountain Avenue, Suite 202, Los Angeles, CA 90029 

Cost: $50 preregistered (by Jan. 15, 2018)
$60 at the door
Register at or send an email to
Space is limited.

Memoir is a genre composed of personal memories, but what happens when those memories are blurry or missing altogether? Your brain goes to great lengths to protect you from reliving painful experiences, but what does that mean for your memoir? Can you still write about what you don't remember?
In this workshop, we will discuss ways in which memory is biologically prone to distortion, based on research by neuroscientists and psychologists. We'll examine briefly the works of writers who have used memory distortion as literary technique. And through a series of writing exercises, we'll identify our own challenges with memory and practice rendering our experiences to the page.
Participants should bring instruments for writing (pen and paper or laptop), as well as one photograph that relates to a current or future writing project. Writers will leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of why their memories have been inaccessible, as well as a plan for how to put difficult experiences into words once they get home. Light refreshments will be served.

Wendy Fontaine is a writer and writing instructor in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines including Hippocampus, Hip Mama, Literary Mama, Passages North, Readers Digest, River Teeth and Tiferet. She recently completed a memoir manuscript and is currently at work on a novel and a screenplay.

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