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Fall Memoir Writing ClassNational Association of Memoir Writers to Offer New Memoir Writing Tele-class this Fall

6 Memoir Writing Tele-classes with Online Writing Support Component

Writing Your Memoir One Story at a Time

Instructor:  Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D.

When:  6 Fridays Beginning October 1st (class will not meet October 15, 2010)
Time: 1 PM PDT | 2 MDT | 3 CDT | 4 EDT
Cost: $175 for NAMW Lifetime Members / $190 for NAMW Annual members / $325 for non-NAMW members | Become a NAMW member to receive a discount!

Writing a memoir is fun, challenging and…it asks you by the nature of being what it is, to dance with your memories, to dig into the images in your mind, and to relive them by recreating them on the page. Most of the time, this is enjoyable. How I enjoyed capturing some of the special moments of my life with people I loved—my great-grandmother in her garden, Mr. Brauninger my music teacher skipping into the fourth grade class, soaring on his violin. Other memories were more challenging—my mother coming and going on the train, the family struggles that I witnessed, my pounding heart.

This six week course will address both the emotional and the technical aspects of writing a memoir from truth and secrets to the reasons for writing in scene and learning about plot. You will be able to share vignettes from your own life in the workshop and receive feedback and support from your fellow writers.

Join us for “school” this fall in a memoir workshop that anyone can join. You do not need to already have a memoir started. You can begin now or come with your work in progress.

Class Outline:

Week One
Secrets and truth. Family conflicts. Having a Beginner’s Mind. Mining Your Memories

Beginning means to be open to what needs to come. Sometimes we need to figure out how to deal with the secrets and family issues before we can feel free to write. We will talk about truth, secrets, how to begin, and how to create a safe writing world for yourself in this first meeting. You will begin to list the memories and snapshots you want to capture.

Week Two
Themes of your Life and Your Turning Points

We will talk about the importance of finding your themes; the turning points exercise helps you to do this. The themes of your work are a thread that continues throughout the piece, a path through the forest of ideas and words. Dark and light stories in your memoir—keeping the balance.

Week Three
Scenes; Sensual Details, and Creating Memories on the Page

Scenes are important building blocks of stories. We will talk about what makes up a scene, and learn about using sensual details of sight, sound, texture, and taste.

Week Four
Dialogue and setting; Character Portraits; Painting with Words

Creating worlds with words. Painting with words. Word play by writing quick flashes to capture moments. Experimenting with language, imagery, and snapshots.

Week Five
The narrative arc; how to understand what it is and how to use it to help you craft your memoir. The narrative voice, narrative arc, and plot create a structure for your work.

Week Six
The Power of Writing a Memoir

We will wrap up the course by listing the ways you can keep your writing life going, finding a schedule and developing a plan for your memoir. The benefits, challenges and rewards of writing a memoir and keeping your writing life supported are all part of being a writer. Issues such as healing, resolution, and forgiveness are part of this week’s discussion.

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