Workshop Description & Guidelines

The workshop series brings together four forums that are based on participants’ shared concerns with teaching life writing, and as you may notice there can be significant crossover between the interest of  different participants and varied forums. 

Though the members of each workshop and the group as a whole teaches in different contexts, settings, and for very diverse learning communities, below you will find the threads that we see connecting and guiding each forum group. As you prepare for the workshop, we’d like you to reflect on your approach to these questions in a pedagogical capacity (the methods, theories, concerns that would guide your approach). As you reflect on your group’s prompt/s we’d encourage you to think both in terms of options/ possibilities and in terms of limitations/ challenges.

Forum Development Workshop Structure

Rather than fully answer the Forum prompts, or fully develop contributions for the special issue, each workshop will offer entry points into a conversation that explores these concerns. It is our hope that this initial conversation will guide you as you write your individual forum contributions for a/b: Auto/Biography studies, providing you with some feedback on your own direction, as well as a view of other contributors’ work. To achieve this aim, each workshop will follow this general structure:

  1. Introductions followed by a series of group writing and generative critical activities
  2. 10 minute break
  3. Reflections and Meaningful Feedback
  4. 5 minute break
  5. Facilitated Conversation and Takeaways
  6. What’s Next
In Preparation for your Workshop:

You are not required to prepare a presentation for the workshop, nor reproduce your conference paper. 

Instead, building on your conference presentation and in response to your group’s assigned workshop prompt, we’d ask you to prepare a 1-page brief of your approach to the question/s. We will circulate the briefs with all workshop members, so that we come together as a group ready to discuss shared threads and questions that emerge from our individual works.

Please feel free to write the brief as a narrated text, or in bullet point form, share/cite resources or focus on reflection — this is a process document, not a formal submission, and the group will meet all its members in their current stage of work / thinking process.

However, to ensure that we do have a shared base-line and that everyone is able to review materials prior to the workshop, we would ask that you ensure that you include the following in your brief:

  • keep the brief focused on your pedagogical approach 
  • start your brief with a direct 3-5 sentence answer to the forum prompt/s
  • keep it to 1 page (we will have lots of time to elaborate during the workshop)

If you have any questions, queries, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email at

Forum Feedback Workshop:

Following the “Forum Development Workshop” series, the Forum Feedback sessions are follow-up workshops, designed to support you in the drafting process. These 60-90 minute workshops will take place approximately one week prior to the essay’s due date, and will provide you with an opportunity to receive initial feedback, or share concerns you are having as you are writing your Forum essay. 

You do not need a complete draft ready in order to participate, nor do you need to share anything with the group in advance. As in the previous event, we strongly believe in process-based, low-stakes sharing of research work — so please remember that you are welcome to come as you are, with whatever work you have (or have not) completed.

During this Essay Drafting Workshop, we will share peer-feedback using the following model: We will ask that you prepare a brief (~2-3 minute) share of your essay.

  1. We will ask that you prepare a brief (~2-3 minute) share of your essay.
  • This share will likely include an overview as well as potential questions or concerns to pose to the group. 
  • No slides or formal presentation needed. If you will want to share your screen (for any reason that is productive for you), you will be able to do so. 
  • This doesn’t mean that you are required to have your essay completed by the workshop; work with whatever you have/ planned for.
  1. Following the individual share, the group will offer feedback, respond to questions, suggest shared threads or relevant resources, etc (~7-10 minutes). 
  2. Then we will move to the next participant, until we each forum member has had a chance to share their work and receive feedback.

As in the previous session we will keep notes and will be happy to share them with you after the event if you would like that. If any resources will be shared during the discussion, we will post them to the group’s existing resource list. 

It is our hope that by the end of the workshop, all participants feel confident to complete their drafts by the assigned deadline, as well as further strengthen the shared threads of discussion emerging within each forum. Once you submit your forum essays you will receive feedback from the special issue editors. The revised drafts of essays will be sent to anonymous peer-reviewers as part of the special issue’s evaluation process.