Barbara Sjoholm will be sharing her stories and strategies for weaving life experiences into compelling narratives at the 2007 Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, where she is leading a workshop for nonfiction writers. As part of the Conference, she will present a lecture at 2 pm on Tuesday, July 17 and give a reading at 7:30 pm on Saturday, July 21.
Sjoholm left the United States in 1970. She was twenty, the country was stalled in Vietnam, and she needed to get away from her boyfriend. In Europe, a planned two-month trip became one year, then two, then three. As she wandered the continent, and learned to speak Norwegian and Spanish, she tried on a number of writing styles, and eventually read and wrote her way to her own, unique writing voice. In her recently released Incognito Street: How Travel Made Me a Writer, she shares the struggles of finding one’s voice.
Sjoholm published a number of books of fiction and nonfiction as Barbara Wilson before changing her name in 2001. Her memoir Blue Windows: A Christian Science Childhood was nominated for several awards, and won a Lambda Award. Her book about seafaring women and her own travels in the north Atlantic, The Pirate Queen, was a finalist for the PEN USA Award.