June Meeting Details

Writing Someone Else’s Story

Writing well is hard work. It is even harder if you are writing someone else’s story or a story that takes place in a time and place you have never been to. Like all writing, it requires drive, dedication, time, and craft. However, the need for research and accuracy of every detail adds an additional layer of effort to such a project. Katrina Shawver will speak about three key challenges she has faced that represent additional work for the narrative nonfiction author, and offer tips and resources to achieve that necessary element for all writing: Credibility.

When Katrina met Henry Zguda in November 2002, she did not foresee the lasting friendship that would result, nor the research and effort required to eventually collaborate on a book. At that time she wrote for the Arizona Republic and received a random tip about this gentile Polish survivor of four WWII concentration camps.

Her forthcoming book, Henry–A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America, is a poignant survival tale rooted in friendship and based in wartime Poland.

Bio: Katrina Shawver holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona in English/Political Science and her Master’s degree from the School of Trial and Error. For eleven years her work appeared in The Arizona Republic, Arizona Parenting, Phoenix Downtown Magazine, and a parenting website. She has presented on Poland at the community college level, is active in Toastmasters, works as a paralegal, and still wishes sweet potato fries counted as a vegetable. She and her husband live in Phoenix and have three grown children. She writes and blogs at katrinashawver.com and can be reached at katrina@katrinashawver.com.