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The Writer’s Survival Kit:  Part 1 & Part 2

Presented by:  Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., NAMW President

NAMW is excited to announce our summer Memoir Writing & NonFiction Tele-Workshops! We know how busy you are during the summer months, so we’ve broken this course down into two separate sessions: Part 1 & Part 2.  Attend one or both Sessions, as your schedule permits.  And as with all NAMW workshops, if you can’t attend all of the dates, you can download an audio recording of each class when you sign up to participate in the session!

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to sign up for Part 1, Part 2 or Both!

Session 1, Part One Dates:

Tuesday June 22

Tuesday June 29

Tuesday July 6

Time:  3:00 PM PDT | 4:00 PM MDT | 5:00 PM CDT | 6:00 PM EDT

Session 2, Part Two Dates:

Tuesday July 13

Tuesday July 20

Tuesday July 27

Time:  3:00 PM PDT | 4:00 PM MDT | 5:00 PM CDT | 6:00 PM EDT

You’ve started your memoir or nonfiction writing project—freewriting, journaling, and collecting stories, ideas and outlines. As you write, questions develop that need your attention and solutions.   These two part series entitled, the Writer’s Survival Kit, will help you continue to move forward!

Part One

Discuss the basics of writing memoir and nonfiction.

The skills for writing nonfiction are the same as for memoir—to write about a subject in such a way that it grabs readers and keeps them turning the pages. Story is one way that readers stay engaged. Story is composed of several components. The most important of these are scenes, theme, narrative arc, and sensual details.

Topics that will be discussed include:

  • Do I really need to write scenes, and why? We will discuss this and learn about using sensual details, dialogue, and setting.
  • How do I find the themes in my work? The themes of your work are a thread that continues throughout the piece, a path through the forest of ideas and words.
  • What is a narrative arc of story and do I need it? The narrative voice, narrative arc, and plot are tools that create a structure for your work.

In part one of this workshop, we will discuss these important tools for writers.   You’ll also be able to post comments and have discussions within the NAMW Forum Classroom.

Part Two

As you work on your project, you discover the need to understand certain conventions about using real people as examples in your nonfiction, or as characters in your memoir. You discover that you need to keep track of several threads of the stories, and to capture scenes in a complete way. Examples will be used to show you how other authors use these skills in their writing. And, last but not least, if you are a writer, you have tons of paper, files, and misnamed documents where it’s hard to find what you have written and a challenge to keep track. Being a writer means having a system for your files and ideas, which helps you to develop your projects in a flow that enhances creativity.

Topics that will be discussed include:

  • Real people—managing truth telling, secrets, and naming.
  • Deepening skills—integrating thoughts, action, dialogue, and reaction. Layering.
  • Being a writer—keeping track, organizing files, revision, editing, writing time and groups.

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About Linda Joy:

Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., MFT, is the President and Founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers.  For the last thirty years Linda Joy has been a therapist in Berkeley, California. She is the author of The Power of Memoir: How to Write Your Healing Story, Don’t Call Me Mother: Breaking the Chain of Mother Daughter Abandonment & Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story.

Linda’s prize-winning nonfiction and poetry has been published in various literary journals. Her novel excerpt, Secret Music, a novel about the kindertransport, was a finalist in the San Francisco Writing Conference contest. Her memoir piece Aunt Edith’s Lemon Meringue Pie can be read here: http://www.themonthly.com/feature6-07-07.html

Linda is past-president of The California Writers Club, Marin branch, was co-President on the board of the Women’s National Book Association, and is currently on the board of Story Circle Network.

Linda received her MFA at Mills College, and has taught Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition to her degrees in psychology, Linda has a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois, and a B.A. in Art from the University of California, Berkeley.

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