Animal Tales with Orysia Dawydiak

Date and time: 22nd October 2017 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Location: Meeting Room, Salamanca Arts Centre, 77 Salamanca Place, Hobart

Writing about animals: wild, domesticated or fantastical, in fiction, memoir or poetry with Orysia Dawydiak

Do you remember Babe the pig, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, the Billabong books, Old Yeller, Black Beauty, Edwina the Emu, Koala Lou? Our interactions with animals, including animals in stories, are often deeply emotional and range from humorous to sad and poignant.

Stories about animals often lend themselves to humorous situations. As well, some of the more famous books follow the lives of heroic animals, and others are memoirs of interactions with animals that cover the entire gamut from love to loss, from humour to tragedy. Readers range from pre-school children to octogenarians, and most of us tend to be more familiar with children’s books and stories. Animal characters can be found in all types of fiction, in creative non-fiction, and in poetry.

This half-day workshop will focus on writing about animals in any milieu – for example, wilderness, agriculture, or fantasy realms — with or without humans. We’ll consider different strategies – writing from personal experience (anecdotes or memoir), or about an imaginary fictional world, or a combination of the factual and fictive. We’ll also look at point of view, for example, from the animal’s perspective or from the human observer. And we’ll talk about the value of research and the value of using what you already know to convince readers you are an authority on your subjects.

Orysia Dawydiak is a Canadian writer, and we welcome her to Tasmania as recipient of the 2017 Prince Edward Island-Tasmania writing exchange.

Orysia writes long and short fiction, memoir and nonfiction for adults and young readers; stories of immigrants displaced by war, redefining one’s place in the family, discovering one’s true identity. The natural world and understanding the animal mind have always been her passions, whether it be humans caught between conflicting cultures, or the undersea world of real and mythical creatures. The drive to survive and build nurturing relationships is at the heart of her writing explorations.

She has published an adult novel, House of Bears as well as an award winning reference text, Livestock Protection Dogs. She has also completed a fantasy trilogy for middle grade and YA readers (Kira series) and a novel set on Prince Edward Island, Rika’s Shepherd. She is currently working on her personal memoir and the adventure memoir of a special Turkish dog.

In 2014 she was awarded the Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Arts by the PEI Writers’ Guild. For more information:

Cost: $88 or $66 for TWC Members

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