Discussions, readings, and lively writing exercises - this workshop covers how to get started, keep on, and finish your memoir, and the choices you have for structure and presentation. As well, we will focus on how to craft stories of beauty and power. Bonus: Participants are encouraged to submit one chapter sample (10 pp) of a work in progress (any genre) for a free, detailed critique. 


Marjorie Simmins is the author of Coastal Lives, a memoir about living on Canada’s East and West Coasts (Pottersfield Press 2014), and Year of the Horse (PP, 2016). In November 2016, Simmins concluded a cross-country book tour with Year of the Horse, which details her life with horses in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. The book is the first Nova Scotia-published book to “ride the ferries” on BC Ferries fleet.

Raised in Vancouver, Marjorie Simmins now divides her time between BC and NS. She began her twenty-five year career as a freelance journalist in Vancouver, appearing regularly in the Vancouver Sun and writing for several trade magazines. While her primary “beats” focused on commercial and sport fishing, she also published numerous essays and articles in magazines and newspapers across Canada, and in the United States. She won a Gold Medal at the National Magazine Awards, for a personal essay (“Trips from There to Here,” Saturday Night magazine), and another Gold Medal for the best Atlantic Magazine Article, a profile of Shaun Majumder (“To the Manor Born”).

Simmins has written for Canadian Living, Magazines Canada, United Church Observer, Halifax Magazine, Progress, Atlantic Business, and Saltscapes. She has also published in major newspapers from coast to coast, and is a frequent reviewer for The Antigonish Review, Atlantic Books Today, and others. In 2018, she began writing regular feature interviews for The Reporter, the community newspaper in Port Hawkesbury, NS.

Simmins’ most recent anthology contributions are to: Nova Scotia Love Stories, published by Pottersfield Press, 2016; Salt Lines, published by Backalong Books, 2012; and to the bestseller, Untying the Apron: Daughters Remember Mothers of the Fifties, published by Guernica Editions, 2013. In conjunction with Telelvision Isle Madame, in NS, she recently completed audio books for her two titles. She will be writing and narrating a six-part series on memoir writing, to be presented on the community television station in 2018.

Marjorie Simmins has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of British Columbia and a Certificate in Adult Education from Dalhousie University. In 2012, she completed a Research Master of Arts in Literacy Education, focusing on memoir studies, at Mount Saint Vincent University. She teaches memoir writing on both coasts, most recently at the UBC Alumni Centre, and at Thinkers Lodge, Pugwash, NS.

2nd floor boardroom, EMM Law Building, 409 Granville Street, Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton
Member Price: 
Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 10:00am to 4:00pm