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Writing memoir is a way of exploring and revisiting times and experiences from our lives. The American writer Alex Haley, author of the book Roots, once said that “Every time an old person dies it’s as if a library burns down.” This course opens up the possibility of saving something from the internal libraries we all carry within us. These stories may be ones we wish to share with our family or friends, or we may simply want to recall and write about them for our own pleasure in reminiscence.

This mini-course will consist of 3 two-hour sessions delivered by Zoom, one in the fall and one in the spring, for a total of 6 weeks. The focus will be on producing short works of memoir about specific times, relationships and situations participants want to explore in writing. It will begin with an overview about why we write memoir and what such writing can offer us and will involve writing tips and exercises for each participant to produce her or his own work.

Sessions may involve some sharing of work between participants if desired. The period between the two sessions will provide time for more writing and editing, with further
revisions and new projects continuing in the spring session.

Carol Matthews has worked as a social worker, as Executive Director of Nanaimo Family Life and as instructor and Dean of Human Services and Community Education at Malaspina University-College (now VIU). She has published a collection of short stories (Incidental Music: Oolichan  Books, 2006)) and four books of non-fiction or memoir (including Reflections on the C-Word, Hedgerow Books, 2006, Questions for Ariadne: The Labyrinth and the End of Times, Outlaw Editions, 2011.)  Most recently, Minerva’s Owl: The Bereavement Phase of My Marriage was published by Oolichan Books in December, 2017. Her short stories and reviews have appeared in literary journals such as Room, The New Quarterly, Grain, Prism, Malahat and Event.

Thurs, Jan. 31st 2019: Patricia Young and Carol Matthews  


Tues Jan. 22nd 2019: Minerva’s Owl

7 pm at Massy Books (229 E. Georgia St, Vancouver BC)

Such a pleasure to read at this wonderful bookstore! They frequently have readings and other events. It’s well worth a visit any time you are in Vancouver.



It was an especial honour that Darlene Marzari and Fred Wah — and so many other friends and family — joined us for the event.

October 2021

Giving Thanks

I’m very thankful to Freehand Books for their distribution of Minerva’s Owl since Oolichan Books closed its doors a few years ago:

Please consider ordering a copy. If the leftover stock is sold, Freehand may publish a new edition! I still hear from a lot of people that the book has been meaningful to them.

October 2021

New edition of Questions for Ariadne

I’m currently working on a new edition of Questions for Ariadne which will include a section on Lockdown Labyrinths and some exploration about the ways in which Covid has affected our use of the labyrinth and caused many of us to think further about the metaphor of the labyrinth and its significance over time.

November 2021

Excited to be part of a virtual panel at Kaleidoscope 2021 with writers Donna Morrissey and Beth Powning:

And also leading a workshop on writing about grief at this converence.

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