Telling Tales: Celebrating Your Special Stories with Brooke Broadbent
The Trent Valley Archives is hosting two all-day workshops, on “Telling Tales: Celebrating Your Special Stories” meant to help people identify their own stories and to find ways to write those stories.Brooke Broadbent, an Ottawa-based writer, will be the instructor and coach, assisted by Elwood Jones.
The important thing in sharing stories about local history and families is to start. The Heritage Gazette of the Trent Valley often publishes stories that have begun in family lore, and such stories need to be preserved whenever possible. They make us special.
“Writing is a skill that can be learned,” says author Brooke Broadbent. Learning to write well is like learning to ride a bike. It gets easier with practice. “For most of us writing presents challenges,” he adds. “And re-writing is almost always required.” He will share more of his thoughts about writing on May 5th and 6th, when he will be leading a workshop called “Telling Tales” in conjunction with the Trent Valley Archives. It’s a one-day course, offered on both the Saturday and the Sunday.
“The workshop is about celebrating special stories of our families and ourselves,” adds Broadbent. Many people have collected information and they yearn to record their tales and tell them to others.
Broadbent’s ancestors settled in the Peterborough area over 150 years ago and when he dug into his roots he discovered that his great-great grandfather, Joseph Garrett died in the Peterborough County Jail in 1894. With research results gathered at the Trent Valley Archives and other Peterborough area resources, he pieced together several family stories for his recent book, Moonrakers at Peace and War.
Broadbent adds, “In the past artists learned from imitating the masters. Writers can do the same.” In the workshop he will point out techniques used by Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck and others. Participants will have opportunities to imitate these by drafting parts of their family tales or personal memoirs during the workshop.
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