I spent the weekend in Hope Edelman’s Creative Non Fiction Memoir workshop. I met Hope in Guatemala at Joyce Maynard’s Write on the Lake Workshop. I immediately was drawn to Hope because of her openness and honesty. G-d threw us together as we spent the first night in Guatemala bunking on Lake Atitlan.
Hope chose the Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica, an Art Deco style built in 1933 with a $2 million facelift to restore it. She provided a fresh fruit platter each morning with pineapple, strawberries, blueberries along with bagels and cream cheese and an assortment of mini muffins. She gifted each of us with a copy of Monica Holloway’s Driving with Dead People and planned a yummy Italian dinner to end the weekend on Sunday night. Not only did she graciously donate one spot in the course but she even made sure parking was included the entire weekend at the hotel.
Hope teaches in a clear, concise way how to first identify your storyline. The Set-Up, the Inciting Incident, Development and Complications, Dramatic High Point and The Resolution. Once the storyline is developed, she puts everything together in eight parts of how to write in a way that made sense. Everyone has a story. Hope can teach you how to write yours. She kept to her schedule effortlessly (or so it seemed which shows how much work she puts into her teaching) and her attention to details made the workshop memorable.
Monica Holloway, author of the critically acclaimed Driving With Dead People and Cowboy & Wills was one of Hope’s writing students not long ago. Hope arranged for Monica as a guest speaker. Dead People paints a picture with surprises of what happens when you stuff down your past. I was laughing out loud line after line. Cowboy and Wills shares the story of a puppy that saved her autisic son. Haven’t read it yet.
If you are fortunate enough to have a writing workshop with Hope Edelman nearby, I highly recommend her. I’ve had fears about writing my story for years. With Hope’s infinite patience, caring and teaching, I am no longer scared to tell my truth.