NSW Writing Retreat with Rebecca Giggs: Voice in Narrative Nonfiction
February 18 – 25, 2022
Where does an author’s voice come from?
What factors go into deciding how our personalities turn up on the page?
In writing about life, the real world, and other nonfiction subjects, how do we craft a lively, expressive voice?
Does the author have only one ‘authentic’ voice, or many?
What goes into shaping a voice that won’t overpower your material even as it engages the reader with a fresh perspective?
Factual writing that nonetheless aspires to tell a story hinges on the author’s voice — that is, the illusion that the writer is speaking directly to the reader. Voice is the defining quality of narrative nonfiction.
In this week-long retreat at Life at Springfield, Stella Prize shortlisted author, Rebecca Giggs, will guide participants through discussion, writing, reading, reflection and instruction on the subject of voice in narrative non-fiction. Participants will consider voice not as stream-of-consciousness, but as a carefully crafted process of self construction, characterisation and observation. They will look at ways to balance information with emotional journey, how to convey the author’s own stake in their subject, and why voice matters to the reader.
Writers with an interest in any of the following genres are encouraged to attend: memoir/autobiography, biography, essay, nature and place writing, popular science writing, narrative history, narrative politics, profile writing, long-form journalism, reportage, travelogue, philosophical meditations. Participants will have the chance to work individually and in small groups, with feedback from award-winning author Rebecca Giggs. The retreat concludes with a short overview of publishing opportunities in narrative nonfiction.
Rebecca Giggs is an author from Perth, Australia. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and in anthologies including Best Australian Essays, and Best Australian Science Writing. Rebecca’s nonfiction focuses on how people feel towards animals in a time of technological and ecological change.
Rebecca’s debut book Fathoms: The World in the Whale was awarded the Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Prize, the Royal Society’s Whitley Award for Popular Zoology, and the Western Australian Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Author; it was also shortlisted for the Stella Prize. In the US Fathoms won the prestigious 2021 ALA Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction; and in the UK, the book was ‘Highly Commended’ in the shortlist for the 2021 Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation. Translations are forthcoming in Korean, Italian, Slovakian and Spanish. She has taught for several institutions, including the Faber Writing Academy, Writers SA, Macquarie University, and NYU Sydney.
Further details and bookings available via Life at Springfield