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Ethical Storytelling


Many people write other people’s stories: family historians, advocates wishing to be a voice for the voiceless, charity employees writing success stories to pull in donor dollars.  What ethical questions arise when writing these kinds of stories, and how might one answer them?

This workshop will examine ethical questions around representation and work through exercises in good practice. You'll be part of a discussion on issues such as:

  • Should this story be told (is there equally a time for forgetting as there is for remembering)?
  • Should I be the one telling this other person’s story?
  • How to hold a genuine conversation.
  • How to minimize the risk of plunging interviewee into re-trauma.
  • How to shape the story not only according to the writer’s agenda, but to the interviewee’s lived experience: nothing about me without me.

To write well for another is to exercise empathy, integrity and sensitivity.

May-Kuan Lim worked as a broadcast engineer in a regional TV newsroom before she became a full-time mum. From 2007 to 2015, she wrote a monthly parenting column for The Borneo Post. She would interview experts for the column to answer her own parenting dilemmas. Interviewing people and writing became her way of trying to understand the world. In 2015, she won an Arts SA Emerging Mentorship grant for a narrative non-fiction work on asylum seekers. She is currently writing the story of a person with an intellectual disability for the MY dis ABILITY book project.


Full Price $115 / Writers SA Members Price $77

Venue: City Library Meeting Rooms 1 & 2, Level 3, Rundle Place, Rundle Mall (Enter via Francis St)

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.

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