Blueprint for a Memoir (virtual) with Donna Morrissey

Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?

In this 8-hour workshop, you will learn just what the heck qualifies as ‘memoir’; the two types of ‘short memoir’ and which works best for your story; and how to find the heart of your story and strengthen it. You’ll also learn the critical ingredient for a successful story and how to focus and center a story over the three stages of storytelling. We’ll also discuss what to tell and how not to hurt others in the telling.

No writing experience necessary.

About the instructor: Donna Morrissey has published six nationally best selling novels and received awards in Canada, the US, and England, with her novel Sylvanus Now being shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. Donna’s fiction has been translated into several different languages. She was nominated for a Gemini for her script The Clothesline Patch, and her latest novel, The Fortunate Brother, spent six weeks on the bestsellers list and won the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel of 2017. Her memoir, Pluck, was released this year by Penguin Canada and quickly hit the bestsellers list.

Recommended experience level: New and emerging writers (About recommended experience levels)

Location: Zoom

Dates of 2-week workshop: Monday, Nov 14; Wednesday, Nov 16; Monday, Nov 21; Wednesday, Nov 23, 2022 (7:00pm to 9:00pm Atlantic)

Non-member price: $214 (includes 2022 General Membership in WFNS)

2022 member price: $149

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than two years and/or have not yet been published in any form.
  • Emerging writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than five years and/or have some short publications (poems, stories, or essays) in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • Established writers/authors: those with numerous publications in magazines, journals, or anthologies and/or a full-length book publication.
  • Professional authors: those with two or more full-length book publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer (that is, participant-to-participant) feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at