That Event – A Memoir


That event. You know the one. It changed your life. You can never go back to being the person you once were…

Maybe it happened to you, or perhaps, you were a witness, or a first responder. It’s your story alone to tell. But you’ve kept it inside you, even though it keeps niggling away, wanting to be told. You’ve heard your story repeated by others, but it’s not right.

What can you do?

Some people never speak of it again. It’s the only way they can cope. Some people journal the details and keep it private. Some people write a memoir, so the truth of the event is on record, or just to keep for themselves so they never forget the details. It’s a personal choice.


That event. You know the one that was a positively magnificent experience! It enriched your life and that of others, and you want to tell your story before, during and after the event. You need to tell the story.

What can you do?writing-923882_1920

Memoirs can be traced back to ancient times. Julius Caesar’s first memoir, Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, was written around 50 BCE. People have always been drawn to revealing milestones of their life from their own perspective. Think of it as a snapshot.

So what is a memoir?

1. a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
2. Usually memoirs:
–  account of one’s personal life and experiences; autobiography.
– the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization.
3. a biographical sketch.

Mémoire is French, meaning “memory.” It’s a type of nonfiction where an author recounts life experiences. Memoirs usually take the form of a narrative.


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The popularity of memoirs has increased in recent times. People want to connect to the person behind the story. People want to know what shaped, influenced and sometimes broke the person, and how it affected them or others. Readers also want to know if there is a happy ending as they relate the story to their own lives. People are awakening to the realisation of how extraordinary each of us are, and storytelling is a powerful tool to tell a story, creating understanding and empathy, and sometimes changing lives.

Why Write a Memoir?

There are numerous reasons to write a memoir. It could be:
• About your ancestors
• Preserving a family’s Legacy
• You have a secret that needs to be told
• A search for your identity
• Healing from a traumatic experience
• Help you deal with emotional angst
• Your story needs to be told

Make no mistake: writing a memoir is powerful, both for yourself and others, who read your words.

Many people think about writing a memoir, but don’t, simply because they don’t know how to go about it, or because the task of recording their story seems like a huge undertaking.

If you are considering writing a memoir, here’s some must do’s:
Step 1
Read published memoirs to see how they are written.
Step 2
Research how to write a memoir. There are many sites online that will guide you.
Step 3
Make a plan and start writing.
Step 4
Have your memoir edited so that it is the best story that it can be.

Does your story need to be significant or important to be captured in a memoir? The only answer to that is, if it’s important or significant to you, then YES, your story deserves to be told. We can learn from every life lived.

Memoir and Family History Writing Weekend

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Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator, Paper Cut Survivor)

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. She is a children’s author and novelist. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Julieann is a member of:

Book Week – a Grand, Contagious Celebration


Something beyond spectacular happens in schools around Australia in Book Week: schools burst at the seams with colour and energy as they celebrate all things books.


CBCA Book Week. It’s joyous. It’s adventurous. It’s contagious.
But it can’t happen without authors and illustrators. And it most definitely can’t happen without readers.

I have spent more than half of my life reading books to children, literally reading thousands and thousands of picture books and chapter books, and this is what I have noticed over the years: there is change – books for children have grown; not only in the amount of books, but they are richer in content, and in quality of illustrations.

And here’s the thing … picture books, chapter books and novels have only continued to get better. When you think you have read the best book ever for children, along comes another one that tops it.

It still amazes me after all these years, and even in our age of technology, that one physical children’s book can get the attention of an entire class like a rock star. Eyes are focussed, and ears are listening, hanging off every word. Children listen in eagerness together, laugh together, cry together, and ask for one more page, or to read it again, or please can we read one more chapter

It’s about the connection of hearts and minds. Being on the same page. That’s what books do.

Every experienced teacher in the world has books in their teacher toolkit. Here’s why –
• If you want to settle a class after an energetic play time – read them a book.
• If you want to introduce a lesson, or a new concept with pizazz – start by reading them a book with content that will be in the lesson.
• If you want to bring the class together at the end of the day – read them a book.
• If you want a class to think deeply about a concept – take them inside a book so they can feel the emotion of a character and see the world through that character’s eyes, ears and heart.
• If you want to inspire children – read them a book.


And here’s the thing … reading books creates empathy, kindness and understanding in the reader. Stories are a powerful. They engage, entertain, empower, explain, encourage and inspire. Research shows that book readers are smarter and kinder.

Imagine a classroom without books. A library without books. A home without books. A world without books – it would be akin to missing a heart.

Imagine a world without writers – wait, that means no books, no movies, no gaming, no lyrics to songs – after all, they are all built from the foundation of stories … what would the world become?

Parents, authors thank you for your amazing support with book week.

Teachers, authors salute you, and thank you for the part you play in spreading the love for reading, for sharing books created by authors, and for gifting students with the ability to read.

Children, you are the reason children’s authors write, and will continue to write, as you are more important than all the treasure in the world.

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To finish, I’d like to share one precious memory of Book Week that stays with me – it’s a child who made his own costume from cardboard and alfoil. He had made it – not his mum, or his dad. His costume didn’t cost a lot, but it was filled with his imagination and with joy, created from the imagery of the words of his only book. It was simple, and yet, it was simply the best!

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Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Multi-published Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

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Writing novels as Amelia Grace:

tcob front cover  bk fr  embodiment front cover

Julieann is a member of: