Teaching / Lectures
2015: Faculty member, San Miguel Writers' Conference, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2010 - 2013: Co-Director, Peralta Writers Workshop, Tuscany, Italy
2007-2012: Arizona State University
Instructor, Virginia G. Piper School of Creative Writing
1987-2000: Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Lake Tahoe, California
Staff member, Workshop Leader, Lecturer, Panel Discussion Participant
1995 - 1996: University of California, Berkeley Extension
Instructor, Creative Writing Workshop
Mission High School, San Francisco
Volunteer teacher, 9th Grade American Literature.
Mary-Rose Hayes welcomes opportunities to speak or lecture to writing groups, classes or seminars on any subject to do with writing within her experience and expertise.
Overcoming the destructive legacy of childhood sexual abuse through Changing The Story
Mary-Rose describes the final acknowledgment of damage done by six years of childhood abuse (11 – 17); her refusal to embrace the ‘victim’ label; and her accidental discovery of fiction writing techniques as a means to counteract a lifetime of pain.
Proposed related TED Talk:
There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us (attrib. Robert Louis Stevenson) and indeed, in fiction or drama, a character portrayed as either monolithically good or evil will appear one dimensional, predictable and dull.
Mary-Rose encountered this problem while writing her latest novel What She Had to Do in which a key character (based on her own father) was an abuser, and she knew she must either explain him or lose readership to boredom.
She thus created a backstory in order to round out and humanize her character and what made him that way, drawing on known elements of her father’s past which included two world wars, the Depression, various family tragedies, alcoholism and undoubted PTSD.
Of course she could never know the real truth, merely the fragments which memory and shared history allowed, but to her surprise the mere consideration of the how and when, and above all the why of her father’s behavior fostered insight, understanding if not forgiveness, and she was able to lay down her life-long burden of rage, shame, and regret.
The process is described, from the onset of abuse aged eleven, to her sudden late in life epiphany, in Mary-Rose’s recently completed memoir Runaway Child.
Other Sample Lectures:
Translating Memoir into Fiction - Pitfalls and Rewards
Don't be Afraid of Dialogue! - And its many uses, including advancing the action, and adding immediacy, color and drama.
Method Writing - As in Method Acting, how to draw deep inside yourself, and access a character by mining personal experiences and emotions from your own past.
Is the Writer's Lifestyle for You? - Ten sensible and practical questions to ask yourself, such as:
1. Do I mind being alone a lot? Or:
2. Do I write because I want to and need to, or just because I want to be rich and famous?
Turning Your Worst Moments Into Money, Or, Revenge is the Best Medicine! - How to make productive use of those horrific memories by passing them on to your characters and enriching and galvanizing your work.
Keynote and/or Featured Speaker
American Association of University Women, Novato Chapter, California
Arizona Authors Association, Phoenix, Arizona.
Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
Books Inc., Laurel Village, San Francisco, California
California Writers' Club (Berkeley Chapter), California
California Writers' Club (Marin Chapter), California
California Writers' Club (Peninsula Chapter), California
Fresno Writers' Conference, California
Las Positas College Literary Arts Festival, Livermore, California
Newcomers Club of San Ramon, California
Peninsula Writers' Workshop, San Mateo, California
Peralta Writers' Workshop, Tuscany, Italy
Romance Writers of America, Sacramento Chapter, California
Saint Helena Public Library, St. Helena, California
San Francisco Jewish Community Center, California
San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, San Mateo, California
San Miguel Writers' Conference, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Lake Tahoe, California
Swords to Plowshares Veterans Association, San Francisco, California
Throckmorton Theater/Depot Bookstore (with Senator Barbara Boxer)
Mill Valley, California
Truckee Meadows Writers' Conference, Reno, Nevada
Valley Writers' Conference, Fresno, California
Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Arizona State University,
Words Off Paper (Wopff), San Anselmo, California
Why There Are Words, Sausalito, California