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Calling All Would-Be Memoirists!

The final installment in an Icelandic Roots webinar series on writing family stories is scheduled for November 16.

“Memoir Writing for Icelandic Roots Members” features a four-person presentation by members of the I.R. writers’ group.

Based on their own personal experiences, these four will offer hints and tips on how to write your family story, whether it be with an eye to publication or simply for family sharing.

Photo of Bryndís Víglundsdóttir
Bryndís Víglundsdóttir

Educator, author, and translator Bryndís Víglundsdóttir is well-known to Icelandic Roots members, many of whom have attended her presentations at Samtal Hour and other IR events. Her longstanding education career earned her the Order of the Falcon award (1989), as well as the Golden Medal awarded by the Association of the School Masters of Iceland 2001.

Bryndís has worked on written and audio translations of almost twenty books, as well as several books of her own. Her most recent publication is Gudridur’s Saga (Icelandic Roots, 2022), with illustrations by fellow writers’ group member Gay Strandemo.

Speaking from Iceland, where she lives, Bryndís will outline her process for putting a story together.

Photo of Sverrir Sigurdsson
Sverrir Sigurdsson

Sverrir Sigurdsson grew up in Iceland and graduated as an architect from Finland in 1966. He pursued an international career that took him to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the U.S. His assignments ranged from constructing the palace and harem of the ruler of Abu Dhabi to building schools in developing countries in Africa and elsewhere. He has worked for international aid agencies, UNESCO, and the World Bank. He recently published his memoir, Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir, which has won two international awards.

His presentation for this online seminar will focus on his research for the memoir project.

Photo of Alfreda Erickson-Duffy
Alfreda Erickson-Duffy

Alfreda Erickson-Duffy has published two novels, with a third soon to be released. Her novels are published under the name of Alfreða Jónsdottir. As part of the Icelandic Roots Author's Corner, she finds sharing stories truly gratifying. She looks forward to learning more about the craft of writing from other authors and sharing what knowledge she has gained.

Alfreda will discuss the process she has followed, focusing on using a preliminary timeline to assist with plot planning.

Photo of Doreen (Borgfjord) McFarlane
Doreen (Borgfjord) McFarlane

Doreen (Borgfjord) McFarlane, born in Winnipeg, is the granddaughter of Icelandic homesteaders who emigrated in 1888. After a career as a concert and opera singer, singing throughout the world, she went back to school and earned a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. in Chicago. She has served as a pastor for almost 30 years and taught seminary in the U.S. and for four years in China. Doreen has three published books, one self-published book, and one E-book, and is currently working on one academic book and editing one in honor and memory of a late beloved professor. She is also a regular contributor to the journal Reviews in Religion and Theology.

Doreen’s presentation will highlight some of the pitfalls encountered in memoir writing, how to avoid them, and how to get around them if they occur.

As always, there will be time at the end of the presentation for questions and answers. The link to the online Zoom gathering will be emailed to members the day before. The meeting time is 5:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Mountain, 7:00 PM Central, 8:00 PM Eastern and midnight in Iceland.

If you missed them the first time around, parts one and two of our fall writing series (What If??? And Becoming an Icelandic Roots Sleuth) are available on our Members Only YouTube channel.


Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

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