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This title offers a complete resource for life writing - one of the key genres studied within creative writing. "Writing Your Self" is a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in exploring personal material in their writing. It examines how a wide range of successful writers approach personal material and the different modes and techniques they use. The first part of the book focuses on a wide range of universal experiences including childhood, identity, adult relationships and loss as well as more specific issues such as exile and displacement, physical and mental illness and abuse. Throughout the book, a wide range of writers discuss their own experiences and how they have tackled this material in their writing. Part Two offers a series of techniques and a wide range of practical exercises and examples. Part Three discusses the writing process, moving to finished pieces of work in different genres and the question of publication. Bringing together writers with a broad range of valuable experience, this is the definitive resource for exploring life writing and offers an exciting range of possibilities, examples and techniques for approaching personal material.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I; 1. Childhood and Relationships with Parents; 2. Identity; 3. Adult Relationships; 4. Abuse; 5. Displacement and Disability; 6. Illness; 7. Mental Illness; 8. Caring and Coping; 9. Loss; 10. Facing Death; 11. Spirituality; Part II; 12. Getting Started, Image Exploration and Basic Techniques; 13. Accessing Memories, Secret Letters, Monologues and Dialogues, Visualizations; 14. Fictionalizing, Transforming Personal Material, Dreams, Drawing as a Starting Point; 15. Keeping a Journal, Writing a Memoir, Shaping Work; 16. Finishing Work; Conclusion; Bibliography; Notes about Contributors; Acknowledgements; Index.

About the Author

Myra Schneider is a poet and tutor for The Poetry School in London, UK. She is author of Writing My Way Through Cancer (Jessica Kingsley, 2003) and Writing for Self-Discovery (with John Killik, Element Books, 1998). John Killick has been a teacher and education officer in prisons and more recently has worked with people with dementia.

Reviews

"Writing Your Self" is the ideal resource if you want to explore personal material in your writing" Writing Magazine "The interconnectedness of the subjects and the reoccurence of the same writers in different chapters gives a cohesiveness to what might have seemed a rather atomistic approach to literary material. The inclusion of a brief but pertinent bibliography by chapter will be helpful for anyone teaching or leading groups in any kind of personal writing. ... Writing Your Self will be a useful reference for teachers and facilitators and I highly recommend it." Victoria Field, Writing in Education 'This is an inspirational book, one to add to your toolkit if you are involved in anyway with creative words for health and wellbeing.'--Sanford Lakoff "Myra Schneider and John Killick have written an engaging book about personal writing which will stimulate readers whatever their level of experience. Examples have been carefully chosen from both well-known practitioners and writers experimenting with words for the first time. Writing Your Self will introduce readers to speculative and reflective approaches to writing and reading. It should expand thinking about the possibilities and challenges of writing, e.g. aesthetic, cultural and political within one's own experience. The book will appeal to facilitators of creative writing groups and people wanting a guide for their personal use." - Wendy French, Educational Consultant, Ex-chair of Lapidus "The connection the arts have with suffering brings into question nothing less than their relevance to the human condition itself. The field of writing in and out of distress has developed exponentially, in the UK, over the last twenty years, and so has its bookshelf. But there's always more to be said on this important topic, and Killick and Schneider's approach, which is primarily personal, will doubtless appeal to many." - Fiona Sampson, Poet and Editor of Poetry Review "Throughout history, communities and individuals have renewed and preserved their sense of identity and shared riches by telling stories. To tell any story is a spiritual act: to tell our own stories is both liberation and challenge and, at crucial points in our passage through life, words can either magnify or diminish the soul. Our lives are as rich and as rewarding as the stories we tell ourselves and Writing Your Self is a valuable guide to making those stories as adventurous and as generous as we have it in us to be, both for our own sakes, and for the sake of the larger community of souls."- John Burnside, Poet and Reader in Creative Writing, University of St Andrews, UK

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