What is the Life Righting Collective?

The Life Righting Collective (LRC) is a South African NPO with two main aims:

  1. The first is to promote life writing as a life skill and tool for personal development, pleasure and social cohesion.
  2. The second is to provide platforms for these life stories to be published and distributed.


Who is the Life Righting Collective?

We are a group of like-minded, life-minded writers led by life writing mentor Dawn Garisch, who has been running life writing courses since 2010. Stimulated by her desire to publish the work that has emerged from her courses and to raise funds to sponsor more participants, she gathered a group of people around her to make the Life Righting Collective a reality. You can find out more about them in the About section of our website here. 


Why is the Life Righting Collective spelt that way?

The LRC believes life writing allows people to learn ways to reflect on and write about life events that can help resolve difficulties and develop a more curious and creative attitude to life.

We further believe that sharing life experiences with a wide readership can help reduce discrimination and promote mutual understanding and tolerance. We call that life righting. 


How does the Life Righting Collective work?

We meet our mission by running life writing courses – both prose and poetry – and through our publications, both in print (This Is How It is is our first anthology) and on our website: www.liferighting.com.


Who can join the Life Writing Collective?

If you have done a Dawn Garisch or LRC life writing course, you are eligible to join the LRC and we would be delighted to have you join our life righting movement. Once you have done a Dawn Garisch life writing course, you will automatically be signed up as an LRC member unless you’d prefer not to join.  People who want to support the organisation can become friends of the LRC and they will receive our newsletter, as well as invitations to public events.


What are the advantages of joining the LRC?

If you have done a Dawn Garisch or LRC life writing course, you are eligible to join the LRC and we would be delighted to have you join our life righting movement. The benefits to you include:

  1. Becoming part of a vibrant community of writers who meet monthly in various places across the country
  2. Having an opportunity to submit your life writing to an annual LRC anthology and our website’s Writing section
  3. Accessing an online space to share information and new publications you come across, with other members: the website will also provide information on where you can submit your work
  4. Receiving notifications about other life writing events via our newsletter, facebook & intstagram posts and blog
  5. Qualifying for a 20% discount on further courses if you are a paying participant
  6. Attending an Annual General Party where we will celebrate our writing lives (and possibly make some decisions for the future of the LRC). 


When does the Life Righting Collective run courses and publish work?

We run courses most months of the year, depending on demand. Our course calendar and booking information can be found here.

 We intend to publish a printed anthology once a year. The first anthology: This Is How It Is was published in April 2018.

How much do Life Righting Collective courses cost?

One reason for setting up the Life Righting Collective as an NPO is to raise funds to sponsor places on our courses for those who cannot afford to pay for them. This we have successfully done to date in Cape Town, Barrydale, Port Elizabeth and Nieu Bethesda. Sponsored places are available on all courses, but do depend on paying participants subsidising those places sufficiently. Please go to our course calendar for further details on costs and booking information. 


Do you sponsor or subsidise students?

Yes, as above, we do. Please write to our administrator for more details. We will also provide free copies of our anthology: This Is How It Is, to literacy NGOs and under-resourced school and community libraries. 


Where does the Life Righting Collective work?

At the moment, the LRC is predominantly Western Cape-based; but we have run courses in the Eastern Cape and intend to run them in the Northern Cape as well, once we have raised funds to do so. We will also be running a course in Johannesburg in 2018. Our course calendar gives more detail of when and where we run our courses here. 


What is the difference between life writing, memoir and autobiography?

Memoir is a slice of your life about a particular time or theme – for example, what happened when I ran away to the circus or living with a chronic illness like HIV or polio. Autobiography is when you write about your whole life from birth to the present time. Life writing is any writing about your lived experience – from a haiku to a full-length narrative poem to a novel-length book.


Do you run fiction writing courses?

Although we run life writing or memoir courses, the skills you learn will apply to any kind of creative writing. Also, there are people who come on a course who choose to write their story as a work of fiction. Any story needs to contain an emotional truth, and the tools you learn on the course will assist you to identify and describe the experience or situation as effectively as possible, no matter whether you are writing a play, a poem, a work of fiction or non-fiction. 


Can I send the Life Righting Collective my poetry?

We do not publish books or collections by a single author, but when there is a call for submissions for the anthology, absolutely, please do. We intend to publish a printed anthology on a chosen theme once a year. The first anthology: This Is How It Is was published in April 2018 and it contains both prose and poetry.


Do you offer editing or proofreading services?

We do for a fee. Please send an email to our administrator and we will refer you to someone who knows their dashes from their colons and their its from their it’s…

You can also try PEG (Professional Editor’s Guild). 


Will you speak at events?

As we are passionate about what we do, and what we do is a valuable resource for building confidence and creativity among individuals in community, yes, we can do that with pleasure, once we have been properly briefed. Wherever possible, we hope to include this as a fundraising activity, but we are very willing to speak for nothing to promote our work. Please send a request to admin@liferighting.com

Can you send me writing tips?

If you do a course with us, you will receive a raft of writing tips along the way…


Where can I find you on social media?