Sid Tafler wants to help you write your life story.
The award-winning Victoria writer and journalist will teach a course on memoir writing this weekend (June 20-21) at Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts at Lester B. Pearson College.
Tafler wrote his own memoir in 2006 called Us and Them, A Memoir of Tribes and Tribulations on growing up in Montreal. He’ll use his years of writing in all forms when he presents The Memoir: The Story Only You Can Tell.
“I think all of us should try to write our memoirs,” he said. “There is a certain sense of accomplishment and achievement that you’ve done it.”
It took Tafler more than four years to write his own memoir. He doesn’t tend to write fast and had multiple drafts. Others, he said, can do it in less time.
So, why should someone write their own memoirs?
“It really depends on the individual and the story they want to tell. Some people want something to become a record for their family. Other people want to tell their story to the world,” Tafler said.
Retired American teacher Frank McCourt wrote his memoirs Angela’s Ashes, a tragicomic memoir of the misery and squalor of his childhood in New York City. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1997.
Tafler said most people will never have the success of McCourt, but his students come away with an understanding of their lives that they never would have had otherwise.
“Sometimes people find it difficult to talk about their life – you have to tell a lot about yourself and have to tell things you may not be proud of … nobody wants a main character who has no faults,” Tafler said.
For more information on The Memoir: The Story Only You Can Tell, please go online to missa.ca.
• WHAT: The Memoir: The Story Only You Can Tell
• WHERE: Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts, Lester B. Pearson College, 650 Pearson College Dr., Metchosin.
• WHEN: June 20 and 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• INFO: missa.ca