Photo Illustrated and Provided by Juliette Borda

When I attended the free Gotham Writers’ Workshop almost two weeks ago, I sat next to a woman who caught my attention when she asked about writing a memoir for children. Juliette Borda, 42, an illustrator and Brooklyn resident, recently answered some questions for me about her views on memoir:

1. Define memoir.

One’s recounting of what they consider to be pivotal or transformative events in their lives; the story of the struggles that built their character. It’s the writer’s job to turn the random series of events in their life into a story and to find meaning in the events.

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As mentioned in my last post, I attended a free memoir writing workshop offered by the Gotham Writers’ Workshop on Wednesday.

Photo: BookCourt

I had no idea what to expect from the workshop; I didn’t even know where it was being held! When I found the correct address, 163 Court Street in Brooklyn, I almost turned around and went home. 163 was posted above a large door that lead to private apartments. I’ve seen too many episodes of Law and Order: SVU to enter a shady apartment alone. Fortunately, I took a step back and saw that 163 was also the address of the bookstore next door, a beautiful and charming place called BookCourt.

My slight freak-out about the address of the workshop made me realize just how nervous I was; I wasn’t concerned about talking to the people in the class, but that I would be forced to participate in writing exercises (which would turn out to be a justified fear).

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