• Arts Council to Host A Novel Idea: Crafting a Memoir Workshop Series

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    November 11, 2020
    Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA) will host its popular workshop series for writers, A Novel Idea, from January to June 2021. This monthly virtual workshop, held on second Wednesdays, 5 to 8 p.m. via Zoom, will focus on adapting life stories into an artistically crafted memoir. A Memoir is a journey through the writer’s past. It is not an autobiographyone’s entire lifebut a slice of life.  
    Participants will paint their own picture of a personal moment or experience and share their unique journey through the art of creative writing. Creative nonfiction is useful in a memoir as it helps bring scenes alive with enhanced setting and dialogue. Many personal history memoirs succeed because the writer transforms real people into compelling, fleshed-out characters on the page.   
    Over 6 casual “Meet & Eat” dinnertime sessions, participants will learn to CREATE scenes with rich description and engaging dialogue, TRANSFORM people into compelling characters, and STRUCTURE stories for clarity and strong storytelling. 

    Topics to be discussed include:
    • Research: To discover the small details that caught your attention  
    • Structure: To decide whether your story is best told chronological or episodic  
    • Setting and Scene: To uncover the truth and realness of the moment  
    • Characters: To describe personality and explain the motivation of the players  
    • Dialogue: To break up chunks of text with interesting dialogue  
    • Point of ViewTo determine whose story it is and who is telling it  

    The series is led by Don Helin, published authorseasoned writer and teacher. During his time in the military, Don Helin served at a number of stateside posts, as well as overseas in Vietnam and Germany. He is the author of six thrillers that draw from his military experience, including three tours in the Pentagon. Don’s novel Secret Assault was selected as the Best Suspense/Thriller at the 2015 Indie Book Awards, and Long Walk Home won a five star review at the Readers Favorite Awards. His novel, Roof of the World, recently was honored as a Finalist in the 2020 Indie Book Awards. Don’s latest thriller, Missing, was released on October 1, 2020. Don is also a freelance writer for TheBurg.   

    “A Novel Idea: Crafting a Memoir” workshop series will be held virtually on the Zoom platform. Registration is $200 for the class series or $175 for PCCA Members, is limited at perrycountyarts.org or at 717-567-7023. Login information will be provided upon registration. 

    For more information on other programs & services provided by the Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA), please call 717-567-7023 or visit www.perrycountyarts.org. PCCA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support comes from a growing list of members, and numerous corporations and private foundations throughout Central Pennsylvania. 
    Rebecca Covert
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