Workshops & Courses

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.
– Joseph Pulitzer

Sharon CAA reading img_0213Sharon’s workshops, courses and presentations can help you get past writer’s block, dig beyond the surface of your writing, and make your words sparkle

Workshops, Courses and Presentations

New for 2021


Only Child Investigates Growing up in 1950s/1960s

In The Enemies Within Us – a Memoir, Sharon A. Crawford’s senior self and child self revisit growing up in 1950s and 1960s Toronto when she was shy, Catholic, bullied, the only child of eccentric elderly parents, with daddy dying from cancer. Sharon found out about daddy’s cancer from The Bully. Her parents lied. In this presentation, Sharon uses stories (some humorous) from her memoir, some acting, and Q and A which may elicit audience childhood stories.


Using Pictures to Create Your Memoir

This workshop is being revised. Stay tuned for details


WORKSHOP ATTRACTED 34 participants April 16, 2019

In this memoir-writing workshop, author and editor Sharon A. Crawford shows how old photos, news stories, ads, streetscapes, and pictures etched in your mind can help create your memoir. Includes how to do picture research and research kick-started by pictures. Through discussion and writing exercises with feedback, you will get a start on your memoir.

Stay tuned for more workshops/presentations, for now virtual, in 2021 as they get organized. The are being listed above under New for 2021. Meantime, read below about another newbie in fall 2018, also a big success. This workshop is also being offered in 2021.

Memoir as Creative Non-fiction

This workshop is being tweaked slightly. Stay tuned.

Can memoir be creative non-fiction? In this workshop, author and editor Sharon A. Crawford will explore the many forms of Creative Non-fiction and Memoir and how they can intersect. Excerpts from published works will be used to start a discussion. Through writing exercises, participants will get the chance to begin their own creative non-fiction memoir and get a quick critique.

First presentation of this workshop was held at the S. Walter Stewart Library in Toronto on October 16, 2018. Very lively and engaged writing group and we all learned a lot about when a  memoir is creative nonfiction and when the story is creative nonfiction but not memoir.

Check out below what  other workshops and courses Sharon teaches.

For Lectures, Talks and the like related to the Beyond book series, go to Books

Scroll down to Upcoming Gigs

Sharon’s Whole She-bang of Workshops focus on…

Memoir writing, fiction writing and freefall writing. Workshops are presented by Toronto Public Library branches and East End Writers’ Group.

Workshops include:

Developing Compelling Characters and Dialogue in Fiction


Author and editor Sharon A. Crawford uses characters and excerpts from her short story collection, Beyond the Tripping Point and novels Beyond Blood and Beyond Faith to show how to create memorable characters from real life, imagination and osmosis. Using the “show not tell” principle, Sharon lets her characters show how their dialogue, actions and inner thoughts make them real and create a powerful story. Includes writing exercises. Private Investigator Dana Bowman, the main character in the Beyond mystery series, makes an appearance to help.

Crafting the Crime Fiction Novel


Do you dream of committing murder – legally between the book covers? Sharon A. Crawford, author of the Beyond mystery series, can show you how. In this four-session interactive course, Sharon follows the golden rule of fiction – “show not tell”. Learn how to create compelling characters and dialogue, scary settings, and plots filled with suspense and murder. Handouts provided. Be prepared to write and receive feedback.

Kick-start your Personal Memoir Using the Six Senses

Memoir is not only the story but is also the emotions the story brings back to you. Get started and develop writing your family history or life story using the senses to draw out emotion and memory. Workshop combines discussion, sensory devices and writing exercises.

Freefall Write into Prose and Poetry

Freefall Writing is writing wherever your emotions take you without stopping to edit. Using a word, phrase, sentence, sound or object, author and editor Sharon A. Crawford will get you freefall writing. You will read your writing out loud and we will discuss where it came from, then turn it into the beginning of poetry or prose (fiction or nonfiction). Good for unlocking writer’s block. Notepad and pen or laptop required.

Crafting the Short Story

Learn the basic techniques to blend plot, character, point of view, dialogue, narrative, setting, style, voice and length to write a short story that sparkles.

Getting Your Memoir off the Ground – four sessions

Always wanted to write your family’s story or your story but need some motivation and guidance? Author, editor and writing instructor Sharon A. Crawford will get you writing your story. Using prompts such as the six senses to kick-start your memory, sharing your stories, looking at published memoirs, and doing fun exercises, these hands-on sessions will take you into the nitty-gritty of writing the memoir. You will learn how to organize your memoir’s content, do research and work it into your memoir, deal with family flak, and not only start writing your memoir, but write some chapters and receive feedback. Handouts provided. Bring photos and other memorabilia if you wish, pen and paper or the electronic equivalent. You will be writing.

More information on workshops or to have Sharon do a workshop for your group or organization email Sharon  Sharon also teaches one-on-one writing workshops and does customized writing tutoring sessions online. Again email  for more information and to book one of Sharon A. Crawford’s workshops.