Memoir Writing Day

Date: Saturday September 30th, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Where: Community Links 211, 125 Main Street, Airdrie
Registration: $50 
*Limited Space.

Memoir Writing Day 


Do you have a personal story to tell? Things from your past that you’ve tucked into the back of your memory? More and more, people are realizing that getting those stories down on paper is therapeutic and valuable – the popularity of memoir is exploding. People want real life stories.


This introductory workshop will focus on three-parts – the writing skills required, the journey of change you want to write about, and the courage and persistence needed to tackle difficult personal subjects. Self-care will be discussed.


If you are interested in engaging in the often therapeutic task of memoir writing, start a retrospective journal now – jot down those memories, however small and fleeting, in a notebook, compile pictures of the past, or assemble meaningful objects. Then bring these to the workshop.


Three recommended readings are: “The Memoir Project” by Marion Roach Smith, “Why We Write about Ourselves” Ed. Meredith Maran, and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.


Karen Lee has a newly published memoir, The Full Catastrophe. You can find out more information on her website

Memoir Writing


Ladies Out Loud is excited to have the very talented Karen Lee come join us again. Some of our ladies will remember Karen Lee from one of our Teatime Chatters last year.


BIO: Karen Lee received an undergraduate degree in 1970 in anthropology, worked in exploration geology in Toronto and Calgary, and later returned to university to become a Chartered Psychologist in Alberta. She and her husband moved to England in 1995 where she worked for eleven years as an independent management consultant in addition to teaching: group facilitation, consulting skills and the psychology of change. She was also a personal tutor at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London, U.K.  In 2002, her edited book Consulting into the Future, was published in the U.K by Hodder & Stoughton.


She is a world traveler, and her consulting work and general interest have taken her to many different countries:  the British Isles, eastern and western Europe, Northern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. She also lived and worked in Hawaii. 


Now, she writes, teaches memoir writing at the Alexandra Writers Centre in Calgary, and is a member of an advisory committee looking at barriers women face when leaving domestic abuse. She and her husband now live in Calgary, Alberta.


Her newest book is The Full Catastrophe: A Memoir, published in 2016.


The Full Catastrophe: A Memoir:


In 1998, Karen thought that, after having been married to Duncan, a highly controlling man, clearly a bully, for 14 years, divorce was in the cards.  But Duncan “one-upped” her by leaving before she did.

Ten months after telling him she wanted that divorce and the ensuing dance of slowly and painfully (almost) separating, her husband was diagnosed with cancer.  Eight months later he was gone. Her problems were solved – but were they?  Was her husband the whole problem? Or, without the space taken up by his ranting, raving and threats, did she then have her own demons to face?  He had been the focus of her life – was he still, even in death? 

Nothing is ever as simple as it looks from the outside and no one person is black or white, guilty or innocent.  Her husband inadvertently left her the key to her own salvation and healing – a love of Jungian psychology and a book that was to be her guide through the next four years.  Those, and her own thirst to be whole and content in her life drove her through her next four years.

This is the story of one woman’s return to her own life after a struggle that began with her abusive husband’s last gift to her – his death.