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Sat, Mar 09

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Wesley United Methodist Church

Bob Welch's 2024 Memoir-Writing Workshop

Join us for a day of literary inspiration, encouragement and awesome food from Mucho Gusto! Since 2007, Bob has given hundreds of writers the tools and courage to tell their stories. Whether seasoned vet or rookie, you'll leave the workshop ready to climb higher into your potential as a writer.

Bob Welch's 2024 Memoir-Writing Workshop
Bob Welch's 2024 Memoir-Writing Workshop

Time & Location

Mar 09, 2024, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM PST

Wesley United Methodist Church, 1385 Oakway Rd, Eugene, OR 97401

About the event

THE ANGST AND THE URGENCY

You've said it to yourself a hundred times: Someday I'm going to tell my story! For most inexperienced writers, "someday" never comes. Part of that is because you don't know where to start. Or don't feel worthy to write about your life. Or fear you will fail. None of these is a good excuse to not write your memoir.

Now, for the first time in five years, award-winning author and columnist Bob Welch is offering an event for writers to learn, laugh and lean into the idea of creating a memoir. It will take place in a relaxed atmosphere where writers of all levels are welcome and encouraged. (Nobody is "put on the spot" or asked to read aloud.) So, dare to commit to your story, your family's story, or both. 

Because when it comes to telling that story, if not you, who? And if not now, when?

THE WORKSHOP

PART I: FULL DAY OF INSTRUCTION AND INSPIRATION

Cost: $199. (Event limited to the first 30 registrants).

The Schedule

Early Morning:

8:30 a.m.—Arrive, check in, get comfortable, enjoy a hot drink, relax.

9:00 a.m.—What's a memoir? Why write one? What do you need to write one? What right do you have to tell your story? (As some others might think: It's not like you're famous!) What fears might you face? Where will you write? When? What deadlines will you establish? Who will your support group be?

10:30 a.m.—Break.

Late morning

10:45 a.m.—What is your focus? Who is your audience? Where are you getting your info? How will you organize your info? How will you plan your memoir? What ethical ground rules will you establish for who, and what, you will include?

12:15 p.m. —Lunch (catered by Mucho Gusto)

Early afternoon

1 p.m.—How can you jump-start your memoir? What info do you keep and what do you throw? How are you going to write your story? How are you going to make it real for your readers? How are you going to keep it interesting? How are you going to avoid it becoming waves of "this-happened-on-this-date" sentences? How do you actually make it a story?

2:30p.m.—Break.

Late afternoon

2:45 p.m.—Who is going to edit your book? How are you going to design your book? How are you going to get it printed? What are the biggest mistakes you could make? What are the key things to keep in mind? What can you get out of this? Finally, what do you need more than anything else?

3:30 p.m.—Final questions from you and final encouragement from me.

4 p.m.—Workshop ends. Return home, relax for a couple of days, then dive into researching, writing, editing, polishing and printing your memoir. If not you, who? If not now, when? Enjoy the journey!

PART II

A WRITING ASSESSMENT BY BOB

(Optional)

For an additional fee, attendees have the option of getting a Welch critique of a writing sample. Send up to 2,500 words of your non-fiction writing—sorry, no poetry—by the day of the workshop, March 9, and he will assess what's good about about the writing, what needs improving and what you can do to strengthen your style and approach. All critiques will be emailed back to writers by April 15, 2024. 

Cost: $99

WHAT ABOUT BOB?

Bob Welch is the author of more than two dozen books, including the Oregon Book Award-finalist American Nightingale and The Wizard of Foz, the 2019 Book of the Year by the Track and Field Writers of America. A longtime columnist at The Register-Guard in Eugene, he is a two-time winner of the National Society of Newspaper Columnist's "Best Writing" award. And winner of the Seattle Times' C.B. Blethen Award for Distinguished Reporting. 

Welch is a former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. In addition, he is founder/director of the Beachside Writers Workshop, which began in Yachats, Oregon, in 2007. He has spoken at the National Writers Workshop and been a judge for the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition.

He has been published in such periodicals as Runner's World, Sports Illustrated, Reader's Digest and Los Angeles Times Magazine.

In January 2024, a decade after leaving The Register-Guard as a columnist, Welch began an independent weekly column on the Substack platform. (bobwelchwriter.substack.com)

FAQ

Q. Is there a limit to the number of people who can attend?

A. Yes. A maximum of 30 writers.

Q. After I register, what if I lose my electronic or hard-copy ticket that can be downloaded? Will I still be allowed to take the workshop?

A.  Yeah, don't sweat that. Your name will be on a list and you'll be welcomed, ticket or not. This isn't a $500 Rolling Stones concert, folks. 

Q. What do I need to bring?

A. A smile, a thirst to learn and pen and paper or an electronic device for a handful of short exercises we'll do—or, if you choose, to keep notes.

Q. How much actual writing is involved in the workshop?

A. One short exercise in each of the four segments, so not much. Look at such exercises as garnish to the main course. In a one-day workshop, with so much to cover, it's difficult to find time for both teaching and writing/assessing that writing. That's why I built in the itensive-critique option. I think writers will be better served by a deep-dive into one sample of their work after the workshop than by me trying to, say, read aloud and assess 30 short samples at the workshop itself. Better use of your time, better use of mine to let the bulk of our time be spent in me offering insight, info and inspiration, and in you asking questions.

Q. Can I skip the workshop and just get the writing assessment?

A.  Sorry, the critique is available only to those who register for the workshop. 

Q. I'm not particularly adept at computers. Can I register "the old-fashioned" way?

A. While I think our online setup is fairly simple and straight-forward, I'd hate for anyone who wants to come to not do so because they got snagged in cyberworld. So, yes, if you can't get registered online, email me at bobwelch@bobwelch.writer.com, give me your first and last name, your email and the name and phone number of an emergency contact person. Tell me if you're just coming to the workshop or you also want a sample of your writing assessed. Then snail-mail me a check for $199 (workshop only) or $298 (workshop and 2,500-word assessment) to: Bob Welch, P.O. Box 70785, Springfield, OR 97475.

Q. I have food allergies. Is that going to be a problem?

A. We've used Mucho Gusto for a handful of events over the years and have never had any complaints. They offer a variety of items and our experience is that people find something that works for them. If you're still concerned, I suggest you bring a sack lunch and we willl refund you $15.

Q. How do I find Wesley United Methodist Church?

A.  If GPS and the map on this website don't work for you, the church is a pretty easy "find." It's at the intersection of Cal Young and Oakway Road in north Eugene. We will meet in the fellowship hall that backs up to—is just east of—the Soko Coffee Shop.

Q. Oh, there's a coffee shop. Cool. Is it open Saturdays?

A.  Yes, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., so there will be three opportunities for you to get a custom brew: before we start, at our morning break and at lunch.

Q. Will you have coffee?

A.  Yes, along with tea, hot chocolate—yeah, baby!—and light snacks.

Q. Is there plenty of parking?

A. Yup. Don't lose a wink of sleep over that.

Q. What if I register for the workshop but am unable to come?

A.  We will offer you a full refund of your money if you cancel anytime before March 6, because we still might have a chance to find someone to fill your spot. If you cancel on March 6 or later, we will give you a 50% refund—and allow you to attend a future workshop for 50% off.

Tickets

  • Welch Memoir-Writing Workshop

    Six hours of instruction, inspiration, discussion, exercises, PowerPoint graphics, laughter, learning and a lunch provided by Mucho Gusto.

    $199.00
  • Welch critique of your writing

    Email a maximum of 2,500 words of your non-fiction writing—sorry, no poetry—to Welch at bobwelch@bobwelchwriter.com by the workshop date, March 9, and, by April 15, he will give you a detailed assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, and offer you advice and encouragement going forward.

    $99.00

Total

$0.00

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