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When the Personal is Political


Opinion as Art When was the last time you read a story that made you want to change course, speak up, rethink your life, or take action? In this workshop, we’ll talk about how stories can function both as political pieces and as art. We discuss how writers Terry Tempest Williams, Bill McKibben, Gloria Steinem, Sandra Steingraber, Wallace Shawn and Rebecca Solnit weave together story, experience and conviction to move their readers to action or to challenge political ideas.

We’ll practice mining our own personal stories and experiences in order to explain and humanise our convictions. We’ll talk about how to write our feelings and opinions with authenticity. We’ll consider how to use research and reporting to strengthen the case we are trying to make. We’ll also draw on lessons from Louise Dunlap’s book, Undoing the Silence, which explores how to overcome the barriers that make us reluctant to speak out.

We will read some of the country’s best political essayists and columnists, and try our hand at writing different forms of opinion pieces, from short blogs and op-eds to long form narrative essays.

At Mattie Furphy House, 9.30 -11.30 on Saturday 25th May Members $22/Non-members $33

Madeline Ostrander is a writer and journalist, who brings the sensibilities of an ecologist to bear on the stories she tells about people, landscape, and the possibility for change.

She is the senior editor for YES! Magazine, a national, independent magazine offering solutions to critical challenges our world faces. She holds a Master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is visiting Perth for a short time to work with students at Edith Cowan University.