My next writing workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 2, in Astoria. Description is below. Email me to register.
The novelist and essayist E.L. Doctrow famously wrote: “There is no fiction or nonfiction as we commonly understand the distinction: there is only narrative.” Bob Dylan sang: “All the truths in the world add up to one big lie.”
Were Doctrow and Dylan correct? What role do facts and truth play in nonfiction and fiction? What is verity in storytelling all about? What about personal myth and memory? Can someone remember something that happened, write about it, and the narrative not conform with the factual record? What about lying or embellishing in nonfiction writing? What about wholesale invention of facts in historical fiction or Hollywood screenwriting? Many writers of memoir feel they have a larger story to tell in their books and don’t feel bound by journalism guidelines. What about the writer who wants to motivate readers to act upon climate change or the inhumanity of the justice system and might need to massage the truth here and there? Can the presentation of metaphor in nonfiction writing represent the real truth of a story? What about the poet who rails against clearcutting in verse and never actually visited a clearcut and stood in its devastation? Is the poem phony? Is the poet a phony? What is journalism in the age of the Internet? What’s fake news?
Join author, editor, publisher and writing instructor Matt Love, Saturday, June 2, for a “Veracity in Fact and Fiction” writing workshop in Astoria that will dive deep into the age-old challenges, questions, dilemmas and obligations writers face (or don’t face) when writing memoirs, fiction, essays, scripts poems, social media posts, even journalism, the latter the supposed paragon of veracity but in recent times under withering assault.
“Many writers struggle with editorial ethics when narrating their stories and openly wonder about the nature of truth. Others don’t bat an eye about fabrication,” said Love. “It is a probably a healthy thing for aspiring and established writers to engage with these issues of veracity and this workshop provides the perfect opportunity.”
In the workshop, Love will guide participants through a series of writing prompts, surveys, short readings and discussions that compel writers to examine their time-honored or newly acquired beliefs on the rules and responsibilities of truth-telling with their words, if indeed, there are any rules and responsibilities.
The workshop runs from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Astoria in a private home. The class costs $65 and will cap at 15 participants. Participants will pay at the beginning of the workshop. Scholarships are also available. Barter is accepted as well.