Life Writing 2: Writing Memoir and Biography

 

5 mornings, Monday 9 – Friday 13 July, 9:30am – 1pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Deborah Shepard 
$310.00 incl GST

Writing memoir involves an intricate interplay between writing down and preserving your own memories and constructing biographical accounts of the people, including the ancestors, who have left an imprint on your life. On this course, you will receive tuition on the fundamentals of writing memoir and biography and its ethical implications along with techniques that will assist you to write with flair and originality about the key figures, both living and from the past, who have influenced and helped shape your life. It is suitable for participants who have not yet completed Life Writing 1.

Course outline

Session one: Arriving here – the importance of preserving my story and the family history.

  • An introduction to the joys of writing memoir and biography
  • Writing exercise 1: arriving here and establishing intent
  • Writing exercise 2: My life and the ancestors. Who were they? How did I love them?

Session two: Writing biography

  • Establishing intention and audience
  • research skills and how to organise archival material
  • What biographical sources do I have at my fingertips: letters, journals, personal accounts, photographs
  • how much do I write?
  • how do I integrate the family stories into my memoir narrative
  • what are my responsibilities as biographer intent on preserving their truths?
  • An editing workshop.
  • Writing exercise 1: My research aspirations
  • Writing exercise 2: A brief biographical introduction to…

Session three: The gentle art of oral history and life review

  • Where do I begin to tell the story of your life?
  • A workshop on conducting oral history to discover the shape of a person’s life
  • Practical exercise: recording your story
  • Writing exercise: Considering the life story arc.

Session four: The ethical implications of writing about friends, family, lovers and loved ones

  • Writing exercise: How do I balance my need to express my truths with a commitment to writing compassionately about the people who figure in my story: what are the ethical implications of writing a biography?
  • An individual mentoring session with Deborah

Session five: Publication and celebration

  • Preserving the ongoing work: how to maintain focus, enthusiasm and a long-term commitment to the writing project.
  • Writing exercise: Reflecting on my story and their story and how they intertwine.

Who should attend

  • People who have completed Deborah’s Life Writing or memoir courses.
  • New writers interested in discovering their writing voice through writing about themselves and the people who frame their life.
  • Writers already engaged on a life story project who are wishing to deepen and revive their writing content.

About the tutor

Deborah Shepard is a biographer, oral historian, journaler and life writing mentor for the New Zealand Society of Authors with many years of experience teaching memoir through Public Programmes and the Michael King Writers’ Centre.  Her books include: Reframing Women: A History of New Zealand Film (2000), Between the Lives: Partners in Art (2005) and Her Life’s Work (2009) all of which were critically acclaimed for documenting the contribution of women to the arts in New Zealand. Her journal, Giving Yourself to Life: A Journal of Pain, Hope and Renewal (2015) was described by poet, journal writer and novelist Elizabeth Smither as, “ ‘Humane, delicate and bold as the journals of May Sarton or Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s observation of her snail.’

Deborah is currently at work on a book The Writing Life: Twelve New Zealand Authors based on her oral history interviews with the elders of the New Zealand literary world.

In her spare time, Deborah enjoys photographing nature and posting her photos with short stories on Instagram.

*Author photo: Babiche Maartens, New Zealand Herald/newspix.co.nz

What past participants say

Over the five sessions I found my “creative writing voice” as an apprentice, in a safe and supportive environment and through a superbly designed course. As a small group of diverse writers, we were expertly guided by the wise and gentle Deborah, who is an outstanding teacher – Maria Kazmierow

I came away with a lot of confidence that I had something to say and that I could say it well -Terry Levenberg

Deborah’s genuine connection with story and people was absolutely crucial to this course’s success – Rachel Brennan

This is a great course for someone contemplating writing their story or in fact, writing anything at all. – Jenny Riviere.

Deborah has a beautiful, compassionate, inclusive approach to teaching – Janet Sergeant.

If you want to be inspired, take Deborah’s course – Gloria

Recommended reading

Seen as supplementing the course but not compulsory;

Author Title  Date Place/ Publisher 
Nigel Hamilton How to do Biography 2008 Harvard University Press
Janet Malcolm The Silent Woman: The life of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 1993 London: Picador Pan Macmillan
Blake Morrison Things my mother never told me 2002 London: Chatto & Windus
Deborah Shepard Her Life’s Work 2009 Auckland: Auckland University Press

 

VOICE IN ACTION: Understanding Your Voice and Using it Effectively

VOICE IN ACTION: Understanding Your Voice and Using it Effectively

2 days, Saturday 24 February and 3 March, 10am – 3:30pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Kirstie O’Sullivan 
$265.00 incl. GST

O, how wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of the soul!’ – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Have you ever wondered how you can develop a richer, more flexible and interesting voice? Would you like to speak with greater confidence? Does your voice feel tired or strained after speaking for long periods of time? Voice in Action explores the basic tools of voice production, and how you can use these to your communication advantage, both in your personal and professional life.

Limited to 12 participants

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course learners will be able to speak with increased confidence in public; express themselves with greater confidence; understand the anatomy and physiology of the voice; project their voice effectively and safely; demonstrate an awareness of how to keep their voice healthy and functioning well; express themselves clearly and articulately; express themselves with greater vocal strength, persuasiveness and commitment.

Course outline

Practical application of the concepts and information introduced during Voice in Action is vital to the learning and success of the participant.

A close interaction between theory and practice is encouraged and enjoyable and accessible exercises encourage an exploration of the following topics:

How the Voice Works: A detailed and practical exploration of the anatomy and physiology of the voice, and how you can use this to your advantage

Relaxation Techniques: Exercises to assist the release of unnecessary physical and muscular tension, which may be impeding vocal power

Fundamental Breath work: Exploring the connection with your breath as a foundation for sound. This also forms the basis for developing vocal resonance

Pitch, Pace and Volume: Three of the most important tools for any speaker. We’ll take a look at how the use of these can improve your vocal variety and flexibility, thereby increasing the chance of capturing the attention of your listener

Articulation: An appreciation and application of clear articulation (otherwise known as ‘good diction’) assists in clarity of communication. Ensure that WHAT you’re saying is supported by HOW you are saying it!

Who should attend?

This course is designed for those who wish to release the full range and vitality of their voice. A close interaction between theory and practice is encouraged and participants will be introduced to the basic tools of voice production. As a result, this course will appeal to those interested in improving their personal communication style as well as those who are required to use their voice professionally (teachers, barristers, contact centre operators, trainers, auctioneers etc.).

About the Presenter

Kirstie O’Sullivan is a graduate of Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School with a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Acting), Kirstie has also studied acting and voice in the UK and New York. Kirstie’s work includes regular appearances in television, film, theatre and radio. She is the Managing Director of BOLD Communication Ltd, a communication training consultancy based in Auckland. Kirstie has been teaching for the Centre for Continuing Education since 2003.

Life Writing with Deborah Shepard

Life Writing with Deborah Shepard


The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Deborah Shepard 
$310.00 incl. GST

 

Everybody has the skills to write their life story. Life Writing with Deborah Shepard is designed for people who have never written before and participants who already enjoy writing in other genres and want to try memoir. Under Deborah’s gentle guidance you will have five blissful days to indulge your dream and begin your life writing project in a collaborative and supportive environment

Limited to 10 participants

Course outline

Session One: Getting Started 

  • Introductions
  • a definition of memoir and why people write memoir
  • writing exercise: What brought me here?
  • a conducive environment for writing
  • a timeline of my life
  • group analysis of literary excerpts: ‘I was born’
  • writing exercise: ‘I was born.’

Session Two: Remembering Childhood

  • The Writing Life: writers’ studios and the writing discipline
  • writing exercise: ‘My Writing Space’
  • writing tips and guidelines for the presentation of work
  • edit workshop: a group exercise
  • group analysis of literary excerpts: ‘Remembering Childhood’
  • writing exercise: ‘Remembering Childhood’

Session Three: Riding the Teenage Years

  • Identifying themes, finding the ideal form for your story, demystifying the process
  • writing exercise: ‘Identifying my themes’
  • Reviewing memoir — your impressions
  • Tips on editing, writing a brief bio and posting a story
  • writing exercise: ‘Riding the Teenage years’

Session Four: The Road Chosen and a mentoring session 

  • writing exercise: ‘The Road Chosen: On Career, Family and Lifelong Passions’
  • individual mentoring sessions with Deborah Shepard

Session Five:

  • group reading of participants’ stories posted on ‘Your Story’
  • the defining qualities of successful authors
  • how to protect your writing project and continue the work
  • performing opportunities
  • group analysis of literary excerpts: a self-portrait
  • writing exercise: ‘A self-portrait: where to from here?’
  • shared lunch

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, participants will be able to: continue the reading programme established on the course, using my bibliography and read memoir critically sit down and write with confidence write for online publication continue writing their memoir for book publication, for blogging, as an essay, for a family history project and perform the writing at the monthly Inside Out Open Mic forum.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for: new writers, people who are interested in writing and are newcomers to the genre people who want to discover their writing voice people who want to record their stories for their family people who want to write and publish their life story people who want to explore their inner world and express their thoughts and feelings and observations and transform them into literature young and older writers people who have written in another genre such as fiction or poetry, or non-fiction and who want to explore memoir.

About the tutor

Deborah Shepard is a biographer, oral historian, journaller and life writing mentor with many years of teaching experience through Public Programmes and at the Michael King Writers’ Centre. Her books include: Reframing Women: A History of New Zealand Film (2000), Between the Lives: Partners in Art (2005) and Her Life’s Work (2009) all of which were critically acclaimed for documenting the contribution of women to the arts in New Zealand. Deborah’s journal, Giving Yourself to Life: A Journal of Pain, Hope and Renewal (2015) received an endorsement from poet, journal writer and novelist Elizabeth Smither, “ ‘Humane, delicate and bold as the journals of May Sarton or Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s observation of her snail.’ In 2015 Deborah conducted a series of interviews with senior New Zealand authors for the New Zealand Society of Authors. The project was funded by an Award in Oral History from the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. Deborah is now at work on the book The Writing Life: Twelve New Zealand Authors .

In her spare time Deborah enjoys photographing nature posting her photos with short stories on Instagram.

*Author photo: Babiche Maartens, New Zealand Herald/newspix.co.nz

What participants say

This is such a worthwhile course where emotional safety and student growth in writing are paramount – Marilyn Woolford

Deborah is amazing. Her genuine connection with story and people was absolutely crucial to this course’s success – Rachael Breckon

Deborah has a beautiful, compassionate, inclusive approach to her teaching. We all got so much more out of this short course than we could have imagined – Janet Sergeant.

Over the five sessions I found my “creative writing voice” as an apprentice, in a safe and supportive environment and through a superbly designed course – Maria Kazmierow.

I came away with a lot of confidence that I had something to say and that I could say it well – Terry Levenberg

Public Speaking with Confidence

1 day, Saturday 19 May, 9:30am – 4:30pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Lisa Brickell and  Kate Bartlett
$210.00 incl. GST
1 day, Saturday 17 November, 9:30am – 4:30pm 
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Lisa Brickell and  Kate Bartlett
$210.00 incl. GST

Do you ever feel nervous speaking in front of groups? Do you need to give presentations in the workplace, at social occasions, or as part of your studies? Recent surveys have shown public speaking to be the number one greatest fear, above being afraid of spiders, snakes or even death! Using comedy, drama and storytelling techniques, this one-day intensive course will:

  • Develop your public speaking skills
  • Explore your unique presentation style
  • Increase spontaneity
  • Develop storytelling and vocal techniques
  • Overcome fears and help you enjoy being in front of an audience

Presenters: Lisa Brickell MA, DipDrama, Cambridge CELTA, DipTheatre (LeCoq, Paris) and Kate Bartlett BA; Dip Prof Acting(NZ Drama School); Dip Drama; Dip Tchg; ATCL

Course outline

This course will cover: Presentation skills: building skills in the following areas-non-verbal communication, creating audience rapport and having a clear intention Relaxation Techniques: exercises used to overcome tension and fear associated with presenting in public Improvisation skills: building participants confidence in the area of spontaneity Storytelling techniques: content and structure Vocal skills: exercises to encourage vocal strength and confidence.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course learners will be able to identify the characteristics of effective presentations; utilise physical and vocal techniques to enhance presentations; use relaxation techniques to help release tension; demonstrate an understanding of storytelling and improvisation techniques; apply the above when presenting.

Who should attend?

Those who feel nervous speaking in front of groups and/or those who wish to improve their public speaking skills, whether it be in the workplace, at social occasions, or as part of their studies. Lecturers and teachers would also greatly benefit from this course.

About the Presenters

Lisa Brickell has run public speaking skills seminars both in New Zealand and overseas. She has taught at Unitec, Auckland, Waikato and Brighton Universities, and has worked with many companies including Genesis Energy, Coca Cola and DDB. Lisa trained at The Lecoq Theatre School in Paris and at Kiklos Drama School in Italy. She also has a MA in Drama from Auckland University. She was the Key Note Speaker at the Drama New Zealand Conference in 2014 and is a professional actress and comedian, teacher and director.

 

 

Kate Bartlett is an actor and trainer with over twenty years experience in the performing arts and training industries. She has taught at Auckland and Waikato Universities, and has delivered Executive Presence, Presentation Skills, Storytelling and Improvisation courses throughout NZ. Kate trained at Toi Whakaari (NZ Drama School) and has a BA and post graduate Diploma in Drama from Auckland University. She has performed professionally in theatre, film, TV and radio.

Mood and Memory: How food can boost your Brain function

Mood and Memory: How food can boost your Brain function

Saturday 18 November, 9:30am – 1pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Vicki Martin-MacKay
$50.00 incl. GST

If you struggle with those ‘where are my keys’ moments, are tongue tied for lost words, and forget names more often than you care, then this is the course for you. These little signs that our brain function is less than sparkling are annoying indicators that all is not completely well. Your brain is the control center for thought, memory, speech, and movement, and needs to be fed, rested, and exercised daily. The good news is that an enriched diet and practical lifestyle adjustments can help to make improvements and prevent the wear and tear that happens as time goes by.

Course outline

This course will cover the following subjects:

  • A brief discussion of brain functions and effects – memory, concentration, mood, motivation, sleep. brief physiology and anatomy – nerve cells and synapses
  • Brain neurotransmitter chemicals and hormones – a brief overview including serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin
  • The energy supply for the brain – a discussion focused on blood glucose regulation and its importance for healthy brain function
  • Essential nutrients and foods required for healthy brain function
  • Proteins, fats, carbohydrates and key micronutrients – focusing on B vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids
  • Detrimental aspects of western lifestyle and diet which may impact on healthy brain function – lack of sleep, poor nutrition, stress, lack of physical and mental exercise, smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, and caffeine – a discussion of their impact on brain function and health
  • Constructing a healthy eating plan for optimal brain function
  • Critiquing and consuming popular diets and supplements – are they useful or detrimental for brain health.

Learning outcome

On completion of the course learners will be able to:

  • Briefly describe brain cell function and related neurotransmitter function
  • Identify key macro and micro-nutrients that are essential for healthy brain function
  • Understand and recognise the regulatory functions of nutrients and blood glucose balance on healthy brain function
  • Examine current eating and lifestyle habits make considered changes
  • Identify different food groups and create a balanced healthy eating plan
  • Use knowledge provided to consider whether a diet, supplement, or media information regarding brain function is appropriate or safe.

Who should attend this course?

This course is designed for those of any age or stage who wish to protect and enhance their brain function with healthy eating.

About the Presenter

Vicki is a Registered Dietitian with many years of nutritional counselling and teaching experience.  She has a private nutrition practice specialising in assisting those with challenging health conditions utilising both integrative nutrition and complementary medicine approaches. Along with her Otago University Dietitian training, Vicki has completed a naturopathic diploma and studied traditional Chinese medicine extensively in China and Japan.  She has also worked for many years in the health food industry.  Currently she is studying towards a Masters’ Degree in Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. Vicki strives to bring a balance of both clinical nutritional experience and evidence based study to her practice and teaching.