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Writers invited to learn how to tell their own stories

Published author & memoirist Ron Rozelle offers online writing workshop starting January 2

Local retired schoolteacher and 11-time published author Ron Rozelle believes so strongly in the power of memoirs that he is currently working on a book about how to write them titled Opening Windows. An educator to the core, Rozelle is also offering a six-week online workshop called “Memoir Writing 101” on Sundays from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM via Zoom, starting January 2 through February 6.

Rozelle’s personal experience of writing a memoir after his father’s death and subsequent emotional catharsis made him a steadfast believer in telling one’s own story.

“We need more memoirs, more personal narratives of pilgrimages through life’s unpredictable landscape of highs, lows and all the uneven territory in between,” he said. “True renderings of real lives, coming directly from the horses’ mouths as it were, are perhaps our most authentic written validation that we’re all – whoever we are, wherever we are and in whatever era or circumstances – on surprisingly similar journeys.”

Designed for all skill levels, from beginners to experienced writers, the workshop will include lessons on storytelling techniques and approaches, research, planning and writing. Tuition is $100 for Brazosport Fine Arts Council members and $125 for non-members. A special student rate of $60 is available for high school juniors & seniors and college students.

Rozelle said attendees can expect both practical instruction and time to write.

“We’ll first explore some of the techniques used when writing creatively,” he explained. “Next, we’ll determine what a memoir is and what it isn’t and help you determine which life episodes you will choose to include and the thread (or motif) that will tie them together. Then we will look at ways to do the necessary research and develop the individual plan that will ultimately lead to the actual writing. The final sessions will consist of group critiques of plans and partial writing.”

No matter the reason a person chooses to write a memoir…whether it proves therapeutic for the author, leaves a legacy for future generations or simply tells a great story…Rozelle is an advocate of the process.

“If someone is going to tell your story, make sure it is you holding the pen,” he said. “Everyone I know that has actually planned and completed a memoir has been glad they did it, be it a privately printed manuscript for a very limited distribution to family and friends or a professionally published book with a significantly larger net cast wide for a bigger audience.”

Ron Rozelle is the author of 11 books, including Into That Good Night, a memoir, The Windows of Heaven, a novel, Exiled: The Last Days of Sam Houston, a history narrativeand Description & Setting, a volume in Writer’s Digest’s ‘Write Great Fiction’ Series. His most recent book, Leaving the Country of Sin: A Novel, was published in June 2021 and he is currently working on a how-to book on memoir writing called Open Windows.

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