Workshop Description

Everyone has a story. Some will record their life situations in a diary, an autobiography, or perhaps a memoir. What about you?  What is a memoir, anyway? A memoir is a portion of your life, a slice, an element that adds up to something bigger than the events themselves. Are there situations in your life that will resonate with readers? What is the message, the theme, the big idea, the takeaway of these life events? What lessons can be discerned from your stories?

As you write your memoir, you will have many questions, such as: how shall I structure the book? How do I achieve the voice I intend? How do I keep my reader engaged and interested in my story? How much do I “tell” and how much do I “show?”

Show and Tell: A major dilemma for any writer. Several years ago, “creative nonfiction” became popular: applying the tools of fiction to nonfiction—showing the reader what is happening in the story through such techniques as scene development, character and plot development, use of dialogue, and other writing tools.

In our seventy-five-minute interactive and highly-participatory workshop we’ll illustrate the difference between Show and Tell writing. You will do some writing and discuss when you might “tell” and when you would “show” in your own memoir.

Homework: Bring to the retreat examples of Show and Tell writing from your own work or from a newspaper or magazine.

About Beverly Armento

Inspired by the many teachers who mentored her, Beverly J. Armento became an educator and enjoyed a multi-decade career, working with middle school children as well as University students. Retired now, she is Professor Emerita at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA and holds degrees from The William Paterson University, Purdue University, and Indiana University. She currently lives in Atlanta where she enjoys reading, writing, and nurturing her friendships, including those with many of her former students.

During her tenure at GSU, Dr. Armento served as Chairperson of the Middle-Secondary Education Department as well as Director of the Center for Business and Economic Education. She received the Alumni Distinguished Professor Award from the College of Education in 1985, the Outstanding Social Studies Educator in Georgia Award in 1990 from the Georgia Social Studies Association, and the College’s Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 1994. Beverly currently serves as a reviewer for the New York Review of Books and is working on her second memoir, Will Power.

Although Beverly has been a life-long writer, Seeing Eye Girl: A Memoir of Madness, Resilience, and Hope is her debut book for the general public. This story about her early years highlights the themes of Childhood Adverse Experiences and the important role of educators/mentors in the lives of children.

Beverly’s Book

Amanda Vining photo

Amanda holds a BS in Biology from Georgia College & State University. She began her career as an educator with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. After leaving the DNR, Amanda became a formal educator with Baldwin County School System and Jasper County School System. Amanda began her museum career at the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAS) in Macon, Georgia, where she served as Curator of Environmental Science
(2011-2020). While at MAS, Amanda developed a love for sharing the world around us with the many students who visited on school field trips. During her time as Curator of Environmental Science, Amanda launched a storytime
program for preschool children.

Since 2020, Amanda has been serving Georgia Writers Museum as a volunteer on the Education Committee. Amanda has brought her love of sharing stories with students by launching Peaches’ Reading Pasture. As Museum Manager, Amanda looks forward to serving the community and helping to inspire those within our community to put words to paper and share their stories.

Amanda was born and raised in nearby Shady Dale, Georgia. Her husband, Rodney, is a native of Eatonton, and they currently reside in Putnam County. They have three children.