Learn how to tell your own story


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Life Righting CollectiveAlways wanted to write your story, but didn’t know where or how to begin? Attend award-winning writer Dawn Garisch’s course in Johannesburg in March.

LIFE WRITING COURSE facilitated by Dawn Garisch

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There is only one story – things are not what they seem – Jim Thompson

Dawn Garisch is an award-winning South African author. She has had six novels and a collection of poetry published, and a play and short film produced. Three novels were published in the UK. In 2010 Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize in Africa, and her adaptation was staged in 2017. A non-fiction work, Eloquent Body, and a memoir, Dance With Suitcase, have also been published. Her novel Accident came out in 2017, and a second play, To Get To The Moon, will be staged in 2018. She runs workshops on writing and creative method, is a founding member of The Life Righting Collective, is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.

We all have a story to tell from our own lives about how we became who we are. Stories about the way we were born, or how someone helped us. About how we got ill or overcame a terrible loss. Stories about how someone we loved, hurt us, or how a political or spiritual circumstance almost broke us. Stories about how we were bullied, how an accident changed the course of our lives, or how we were able to make a difference in someone else’s life. These stories are often invisible to others. They probably still influence the way we think and feel in ways we don’t fully understand.

Writing about your own life can help you connect with the story you are living, and it can help to heal trauma. It is a powerful way for us to communicate and to grow compassion for ourselves and for each other. The tools we need to write effectively are also tools we need to live more creatively and less anxiously. Whether you are writing fiction or poetry, life writing skills can help you to deepen observation and to communicate better.

Over three days we will find refreshing ways to put our personal stories down on the page.

Beginner writers are welcome.

Dates and times: Friday 2 to Sunday 4 March 9am to 3pm daily
Fee: R2200 (any donation over and above that goes towards sponsoring a writer from a disadvantaged background)
Venue: 20 on 4th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg

Discounted / sponsored places are available to those in need – apply to the email address below.

To bring:

  • notebook and pen
  • two objects from the period you want to write about – one that represents something you loved about it, and one that represents something you disliked about that time.
  • tea, coffee and snacks are provided. Please bring lunch to share.

To book: linda@liferighting,com

A deposit of R500 secures your place.


Dawn Garisch’s courses have been a nutritional and stimulating space for my own creative writing and healing. Her highly skilled and sensitive structuring and facilitation of the processes, exercises and outcomes have helped many re/claim their voices, recognize the value of their life experiences, honour their stories. She has also held a critical and safe space for emerging writers to build the essential confidence to showcase their talents. – Malika Ndlovu

“I found Dawn Garisch’s memoir-writing course extremely useful and helpful: she provided a structure that held all of us would-be memoirists firmly to our task, while at the same time helping us to get in touch with our senses, our fears, our dreams, our stories. The image that comes to mind is of holding tight to the golden thread that will allow us to go down to the depths and emerge again, unscathed though not unchanged. The sense of community and support that is born of twenty-odd people meeting daily for four days to address themselves to such a deeply individual task was also one of the unexpected pleasures of the experience. I would heartily recommend this course.” – Athalie Crawford

“This course helped me to break through the block created by my own diffidence and reluctance, enabling me to find and become confident in the thread I must pursue in order to be true to myself. Dawn created an atmosphere of trust in which the participants felt free to go as far as they wished on this journey into memory and onto the page. An unusual, highly effective and striking aspect of Dawn’s facilitative work is her insistence that writing, memory and creativity are not simply to be found in the ‘head’ but are lodged in and distributed through the ‘memory’ to be discovered in the body itself. The course was enlightening, stimulating, moving and fun.” – John Cartwright

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