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Are You Struggling with Your Memoir Structure?


 Judy Mandel


Join us for our October Member Teleseminar with Judy Mandel!

October 25, 2013

11 AM PDT  12 PM MDT   1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT

Memoir writers often find themselves stuck with questions about how to structure their memoir. Some questions:

When should you start thinking about the structure of your memoir? Will an outline help? What are some tips to help you organize the memories of your lifetime into a coherent story that keeps the reader wanting to turn the page?

Judy L. Mandel, author of Replacement Child – A Memoir (Seal Press) will discuss her unique method of structuring her memoir, as well as other techniques you may want to try.

Judy will discuss:

  • Tips to help you organize your memoir
  • How to look objectively at your story structure
  • Some references for memoir story structure
  • Deciding what to leave in and what to leave out of your book
  • What is your memoir ABOUT?

 When you have clearer ideas about how to think about your memoir structure and learn how to make decisions about the structure that can work for your story, you can proceed writing all the way to “The End!”

Judy L. Mandel is the author of Replacement Child – a memoir (Seal Press).

Her writing life began as a reporter. She later worked in public relations and advertising and somehow found herself in corporate communications at various insurance companies, where she earned a living for 20 years. Her memoir, Replacement Child, grew out of early essays and the promise she made to her family to tell the story.


Judy now balances her business writing for clients with writing fiction, nonfiction and articles from her home in Connecticut. She has a wonderful son, and an incredible husband who brought three fantastic stepsons into her life. She also has a very large orange cat that sometimes types long lines of zzzzzz’s by lying across her computer keyboard.



  1. Marilyn Shie says:

    structure has been a big problem for me. Although I think I have figured it out, I wold appreciate some advice. Your seminars are very welcome and helpful. Thanks for your dedication to the ones who are struggling.

    • Judy Mandel says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I think structure is one of the most difficult issues we face as writers. I restructured my memoir many times before I was satisfied that I had the best way for me to tell my story. Another writer would have certainly done it differently.
      I hope you will join us for the teleseminar and ask some of those hard questions for us to discuss.
      Judy Mandel

  2. Robin says:

    Can someone please tell me how I join this teleseminar?
    Thank you,
    Robin Donnelly

  3. Susan Holck says:

    The structure of my memoir is my biggest challenge at the moment. I have plenty written (though I keep thinking of more I need to add…), I have tried an outline, but I keep changing it. One of the most useful tools for me has been my list of “turning points”; they have become a resource for constructing a structure that tells a compelling story. I am grateful that NAMW is holding this telesummit!

  4. Kathleen Cuerdon-Kahn says:

    I’ve signed up for previous teleseminars, but I’ll be darned if I I can remember how to do it this time. I’m a member, so you’d think I would have figured it out by now.

  5. Paula Wagner says:

    This is just the refresher I need. Although I’ve made my list of turning points, they’ve become hazy. Sorry to miss the seminar today but I’m in London right now (my birthplace and Original Turning Point!), but hope to catch the audio when I return. Enjoy!

  6. Tim Gomes says:

    This was a very enlightening seminar. I took copious notes. I had asked a question about how to proceed with my own memoir about finding my birth parents after 60 years, but while it was being answered my phone went dead as if the teleseminar had just stopped. The phone was still connected to the conference number, but all audio stopped. Was there some problem with the conference line? Where can I obtain a transcript of what I missed?

  7. gwilkinson says:

    I am sorry I missed this seminar. Is it repeated or available in archives Thank you

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