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Services

 

 

 Writ­ing workshops

These highly focused and per­son­alised work­shops are lim­ited to small groups of 3 to 5 peo­ple, held about four times a year. The broad inten­tion is to free cre­ativ­ity and con­nect with the indi­vid­ual writ­ing voice by way of gen­tle encour­age­ment, in a con­vivial set­ting. The top­ics dis­cussed are tai­lored to address indi­vid­u­als’ inter­ests and needs, and to suit the stage of their project; these include explo­ration of themes such as pur­pose & struc­ture and tack­ling of the cen­tral ques­tion of the mem­oir: ‘What is my story really about and how can I make it inter­est­ing to the reader?’ The work­shops are suited for those who have a project in mind — whether start­ing writ­ing or hav­ing writ­ten a full draft. Par­tic­i­pants have the oppor­tu­nity to sub­mit an excerpt from their work prior to work­shop for a con­sul­ta­tion feed­back dur­ing the week­end. The writ­ing week­ends are held in rural or sea­side loca­tions that allow for immer­sion and relaxation.

Ongo­ing groups tend to form over a series of work­shops owing to par­tic­i­pants’ repeat atten­dance, although one-off atten­dance is wel­come. Par­tic­i­pa­tion is by appli­ca­tion; the main pre­req­ui­site is a com­mit­ment to a writ­ing project.

 

For more details, please send an enquiry to

jbehmoiras [at] gmail [dot] com

 

Tes­ti­mo­ni­als:

Recently I was priv­i­leged to attend a Mem­oir Work­shop Week­end run by Josiane Behmoiras at a coun­try prop­erty west of Gee­long. It was fab­u­lous to spend time and work with like-minded strong inter­est­ing women, espe­cially Josiane, a men­tor of con­sid­er­able exper­tise. There was much con­struc­tive guid­ance and tuition and time for quiet writ­ing and shar­ing. Ter­rific, intel­li­gent and stim­u­lat­ing con­ver­sa­tion re our com­mon, but indi­vid­ual projects, essen­tially our lives.  

The back­drop of nur­tur­ing coun­try hos­pi­tal­ity pro­vided by our lovely hosts Chris and Peter com­pli­mented the ambience. 

I returned home with new tools and a dif­fer­ent, but excit­ing mind­set re the devel­op­ment of my mem­oir story.  Josiane is a skilled teacher, writer and com­mu­ni­ca­tor and delight­ful com­pany. I look for­ward to another enrich­ing work­shop with her.

Anne-Maree Hone, April 2016

 

Thanks for a ter­rific week­end. It was a plea­sure to be in such good com­pany to work through the issues of struc­ture and beginnings.

I finally got to the nub of my story.

Siob­han Sheri­dan, April 2016

 

The week­end course offered so much more that I wasn’t expect­ing and that made the week­end so spe­cial, such as great peo­ple, who made me feel sup­ported in my recount­ing my expe­ri­ences, yummy food and good con­ver­sa­tional over meals, and a beau­ti­ful set­ting, both house and land­scape. Tuto­ri­als pro­vided excel­lent guid­ance and teach­ing that hit the tar­get with respect to my project and began to clar­ify so much that I had been wran­gling over.

Cather­ine S.,  April 2016

 

Josi’s week­end work­shop was superb, most help­ful. I am still putting down the first draft, and it was all look­ing a bit daunt­ing. After the week­end, I now have a poten­tial struc­ture for the mem­oir, includ­ing a poten­tial begin­ning and end­ing (which I didn’t have before the work­shop). Josi’s help in how to con­struct scenes was invalu­able. In fact, all of the exer­cises that we did were most help­ful – a num­ber of things that I wrote dur­ing the week­end will go straight into the mem­oir. Josi has a nice com­bi­na­tion of encour­age­ment, con­struc­tive crit­i­cism and pro­duc­tive left-field sug­ges­tions. She goes beyond the call of duty. Thanks to the weekend’s work, I feel invig­o­rated and much clearer – now I just need to carve out more time to keep on writing!

David Morawetz, June 2016

 

Spe­cial thanks to Josi for her lovely approach, and end­less knowl­edge and advice on all things writ­ing! It is such a warm and encour­ag­ing envi­ron­ment for learn­ing the many, many tac­tics for good writ­ing. These week­ends give me such a shot in the arm and make me think that maybe one day I just might achieve that dis­tant goal called pub­li­ca­tion! This lat­est ses­sion, cov­er­ing voice, was so bril­liant, and I’ve come away with excerpts that I wrote over the two days that I will use in my man­u­script as well as valu­able tech­niques to achieve some­thing that needs to be woven seam­lessly into the story.

Kate Shea, Octo­ber 2016

 

Dur­ing my first week­end with Josiane, I clar­i­fied the begin­ning and the end of my mem­oir. Dur­ing my sec­ond week­end, I clar­i­fied its struc­ture. These three major items had all been a real prob­lem – such a relief to have them solved. I have also come away with about 2,000 words that will go into the mem­oir. On both week­ends, I found the writ­ing exer­cises extremely help­ful. Thank you so much!

David Morawetz, Octo­ber 2016

 

Last week­end was my sec­ond week­end mem­oir writ­ing work­shop with Josiane, and each time I have come away delighted to have found a much-needed solu­tion to a par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge I was fac­ing in my writ­ing. Josiane’s feed­back is both insight­ful and encour­ag­ing. Through­out the week­end, Josiane ensured every­one had an oppor­tu­nity to share their work and ideas, and through her gift of hos­pi­tal­ity cre­ated an atmos­phere of learn­ing that was relaxed and enjoy­able. These work­shops are unlike any other writ­ers’ work­shops I have ever attended.  Trish Feb­ru­ary 2017

Trish O’Connor, Feb­ru­ary 2017

 

I recently attended a Mem­oir Writ­ing Work­shop facil­i­tated by Josiane Behmoiras. The focus of the week­end was twofold; putting the present into the past and devel­op­ing char­ac­ters but I came away with so much more than two new skills. Josi’s work­shops are a com­bi­na­tion of indi­vid­ual and group exer­cises designed specif­i­cally to aid the devel­op­ment of your mem­oir. Each work­shop is held over a week­end in beau­ti­fully selected accom­mo­da­tions. Par­tic­i­pants share meals together as well as tute­lage and this encour­ages the feel­ing of com­mu­nity and cama­raderie. Josi’s warmth imme­di­ately puts you at ease and she makes sure the envi­ron­ment is com­fort­able and sup­port­ive. I gained much insight from her exper­tise and learned some excel­lent tools that have allowed me to inject some of what I’d been strug­gling to include in my story. I also got to dip my toes in the ocean and sit by an open fire — two of my favourite things — and I’m sure this helped the cre­ative juices flow! It was a fan­tas­tic week­end of learn­ing and laugh­ing and I am very much look­ing for­ward to the next one.

Thanks Josi!

Tash Aga­fonoff, Feb­ru­ary 2017

 

I attended the writ­ing work­shop week­end at the rec­om­men­da­tion of a fel­low writer. My mem­oir about the inner dia­logue of an anorexic wog child, in the 70s has been chal­leng­ing to pen. Ini­tially, I felt ner­vous shar­ing my per­sonal expe­ri­ence with what is now cat­e­gorised as a men­tal ill­ness. Idyl­li­cally located at the edge of a national park, by the fire and around the table, we began a series of writ­ing exer­cises. Their uncon­ven­tional nature helped us to con­nect to our voice. Shar­ing became fun, cri­tique safe and my con­fi­dence in my abil­ity to tell my story grew. Josi ran the ses­sions well and gave us help­ful advice and guid­ance. Away from our nor­mal lives, we entered the writ­ers space more eas­ily. Writ­ing in the com­pany of other writ­ers is a sacred space. I hap­pily rec­om­mend the work­shop­ping weekend.

Mer­ima Jack­son, June 2017

 

 

Man­u­script assessment

Men­tor­ing

 

Man­u­script assessment

You have writ­ten a mem­oir, a short or extended fic­tion or non­fic­tion. Give your man­u­script the best chance before send­ing it forth into the world. A detailed report will point out strengths and weak­nesses, and offer accu­rate sug­ges­tions on how to redraft and/or edit your work, address­ing style, struc­ture, plot, story arc, nar­ra­tive pace, point of view, voice and tone.

In addi­tion, you will be offered advice on pub­lish­ing options for your spe­cific topic and style.

 

Men­tor­ing

Men­tor­ing can be tai­lored to your per­sonal needs, to help you see through a spe­cific long or short term project, or to keep your writ­ing prac­tice alive and evolv­ing, with a flex­i­ble deliv­ery: via email and/or tele­phone Skype or per­sonal meetings.

Men­tor­ing can start as early as the ‘idea-dreaming’ stage to guide you through to the com­ple­tion of a man­u­script or pick up your writ­ing vibe at any stage, to lead you through the writ­ers’ journey.

Ongo­ing sup­port and repeated feed­back for each draft can facil­i­tate a fast-tracked learn­ing process and per­sonal devel­op­ment of your craft, and ulti­mately beat the lurk­ing writ­ers’ block – a handy label to excuse our­selves from the demands of cre­ative quests.

 

Tes­ti­mo­ni­als

I met Josiane Behmoiras through the man­u­script assess­ment pro­gram at Writ­ers Vic­to­ria. Her prompt, thor­ough and hon­est com­men­tary on my man­u­script con­tained many insight­ful sug­ges­tions about what might lead to improve­ments. After work­ing on those sug­ges­tions, I engaged Josiane as a men­tor and was again encour­aged by her detailed con­struc­tive remarks. In par­tic­u­lar, my man­u­script ben­e­fited from Josiane’s sug­ges­tions about cre­at­ing key scenes in my writ­ing and mak­ing one char­ac­ter the pri­mary dri­ving force in the nar­ra­tive. In my meet­ings with her, Josiane showed she had read my work care­fully and under­stood what I was try­ing to do. This — together with the easy rap­port we estab­lished — made our dis­cus­sions not only pro­duc­tive but also a plea­sure. My book will be all the bet­ter for her wise counsel. 

Frank Gold­ing, author of An Orphan’s Escape: Mem­o­ries of a lost child­hood (Loth­ian Books Mel­bourne, 2005). August 2015

 

It took a lot of courage for me to send my man­u­script for assess­ment by a pro­fes­sional. I held my breath wait­ing for the feed­back from an anony­mous asses­sor assigned by Writ­ers Vic­to­ria. Josiane’s detailed report was com­pre­hen­sive and hon­est. It pin­pointed the areas I needed to work on and offered sug­ges­tions on how to deal with them. The post-assessment meet­ing was very ben­e­fi­cial as I got to dis­cuss issues that eluded me. Josiane was very gra­cious and sen­si­tive to my vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties. I would def­i­nitely rec­om­mend her and hope to work with her again. 

Jo Chehab,  Jan­u­ary 2016


 

Please con­tact me for more details about the above ser­vices on

 

jbehmoiras[at]gmail[dot]com