Writing the Vignette
A first step in memoir writing
Many of us have had experiences we want to write about, but don’t know where to begin. The prospect of writing a long essay can be overwhelming.
In this session we will learn how to write short prose pieces called vignettes. We will look at some published work as models for our writing. In preparation for sharing our work, we’ll talk about how to give and receive constructive feedback. Participants will then draft vignettes and share them in small groups. Each participant will get positive comments on his or her work, as well as suggestions for development.
At the end of the session each writer will read aloud one of his or her pieces. No writing experience is needed — enthusiasm is all that’s required.
The Skinny: 3 things you will do in this session
- Incorporate appeals to the five senses in writing
- Show events and emotions to readers rather than tell about them
- Give and receive positive feedback
Session image by Paul Nicholas Photography, Used with kind permission.
New York, NY
Michelle Tokarczyk has been writing poetry since she was 9 years old and teaching writing classes for over 25 years. She has published one poetry book, The House I’m Running From, has another, Bronx Migrations, coming out in 2016, and has published in numerous print and online publications.
A professor of English at Goucher College, she divides her time between Baltimore and New York City. She enjoys seeing people turn vague ideas and images into poetry.
Michelle is a returning presenter. Click to see what they’ve presented in the past.
All sessions in this timeslot:
- The Convergence Challenge Navigating the emotional potholes of decision-making (Ismet Mamnoon, Laura Barbero Switalski)
- Elements of Creativity Tapping into natural elements to inspire our creative selves (Susannah Childers)
- Plant a Flourishing Business (Ian Poinsenet)
- Preach it! Applying the primal wisdom of preaching and storytelling to your presentations and talks (Allan Cole)
- Stay Sane (in an insane world) (Jens Hoffmann)
- Writing the Vignette A first step in memoir writing (Michelle Tokarczyk)