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(More) Hard Bits in Literary Non-Fiction



Maria Tumarkin




The hard bits in literary non-fiction – could this be true of all writing? all art? – are also the most exciting if you can get them right. In this three-parter, dig deep into the ways autobiographical material can be used to produce writing and thinking that goes well beyond the personal; pooh-pooh formulas and conventions and go in search of experimentation when experimenting is called for; and consider how works of non-fiction can, and do, act as catalysts for important public conversations.

A portrait of Maria Tumarkin

Maria Tumarkin


Saturdays 8 October, 5 November and 3 December, 10am–4pm

You will learn

  • how to use autobiographical material to produce writing that goes beyond the personal, ie the kind of writing that makes meaningful connections to larger questions of culture and to shared human experiences
  • how to recognise formulaic, cliched writing, especially when it’s your own
  • what kind of experimentation is possible around structure, voice, genre, narrative and how it can free up and elevate your work
  • how works of non-fiction can contribute to and shape vital public conversations, and make us feel less alone (and less unmoored) at times of crisis, individual or collective.
  • (Other things will no doubt happen in class, moments of revelation and discovery; they cannot be predicted, you just have to be there.)

About Maria Tumarkin

Maria Tumarkin writes books (three to date, fourth on the way), reviews, essays (included in ‘Best Australian Essays’ 2011, 2012 and 2015), and pieces for performance and radio. She teaches and translates, and collaborates with visual artists, psychologists and public historians. Her work has been published, performed, carved into dockside tiles, and set to music. Maria holds a PhD in cultural history and teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne. For more on Maria, visit www.mariatumarkin.com.

Read Maria's Q&A on the power and pleasure of narrative or have a go at her Writing Workout on messing it up.

Cancellation Policy




Registration for this event ended on 07 October 2016 - 2:00
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