Memoir-writing topic of Aug. 26 workshop


The easy part of writing a memoir is the decision to document valuable life experiences. But how do you start, and how to decide what to keep in and leave out?

Susie Baxter has taught a college course on exactly that, and she’ll teach a condensed version of her course, “Write Your Memoir,” on Saturday, Aug. 26. at the FWA Ponte Vedra Writers meeting. The meeting is set for 11 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.

Baxter will discuss the importance of writing about your experiences for yourself, your family, or the world. She will provide handouts to aid recall and guidance in selecting and organizing your material so your story will read like a page-turning novel instead of a litany of facts. The interactive session will illustrate the different perspective each of us has on events and she’ll discuss the universal truths that cause us to empathize with the protagonist’s struggles.

Baxter teaches memoir writing in the Community Education Program at Santa Fe College, Gainesville. A native Floridian, she is the author of two memoirs, “Pumping Sunshine: A Memoir of My Rural Childhood,” which won the Royal Palm Literary Award, and “I, Susanette…,” a coming-of-age memoir. Her first book was a family history, “C.G. & Ethel.” She has also published a how-to manual, “Write Your Memoir: One Story at a Time.”

She served for several years as creative nonfiction editor for Bacopa Literary Review, a print journal published annually by the Writers Alliance of Gainesville. During her career in publishing, she served as an executive editor for Mosby, a health-science publishing house in St. Louis, where she recruited renowned physicians to write clinical reference books. During her tenure there, she was named a Times Mirror Editor of the Year.

The Ponte Vedra Writers group is part of the Florida Writers Association, a statewide membership organization dedicated to the support of both aspiring and published writers in any genre. The Aug. 26 meeting is free and open to members and nonmembers alike.

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