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How to Write Your Lifestory or Memoir: Exploring Truth, Memory, and Craft

a Writer’s Digest Webinar with Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., MFT

Writing a memoir or a lifestory can be an overwhelming task. You wonder where to begin, how to structure it, how much truth to tell, and how to manage conflicting family opinions. Not only do writers need to sort through the emotional aspects of writing a memoir based on their own experiences, but it’s important to write a story with dramatic interest. Even if you simply want to share your story with family, the reader needs to be drawn into your story. You create the world of your past through using fictional tools such as the correct point of view, scenes, vivid descriptions, and by creating a narrative arc.

Join Linda Joy Myers, NAMW, President for her upcoming Webinar at Writer’s Digest!

All registrants are invited to submit a vignette of 500 words or fewer in advance of the event. All submissions will receive a personal critique by Linda Joy!

Attention will be focused on teaching craft elements needed to create a publishable and well-written work that you can be proud of.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to create a hook and theme—in other words: how to make your story stand out from other memoirs that editors and agents review
  • Ways to think about truth and memory, family, and legal issues that block your writing; how to find your theme and focus your story for your audience.
  • Create a timeline, write vignettes, and choose the most important part of your story—the turning points.
  • The reasons why you need scenes and a narrative arc
  • Why you need to draw upon fictional techniques, such as sensual details, point of view, scenic structure, and vivid descriptions to craft a great story.
  • How to research the parts of your story that you’re not sure about

Each registration also comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 1 year.

Length and price: 90 minutes; $89
Date:  Thursday October 21, 2010
Click Here to Learn More or Register

Who should attend?

  • Writers who want an overview of memoir and lifestory writing
  • Writers interested in exploring ethical issues in memoir writing, such as different versions of the truth, family conflicts, and how to find your own voice
  • Writers who want to understand the current demands of the publishing world.
  • Journal writers who want to write a publishable story
  • Writers who need to learn about the craft of story and how it applies to memoir and lifestory writing

About Linda Joy Myers

Linda Joy is the president of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and an expert in memoir, lifestory, and the topic of writing as a transformational journey. She has written three books—The Power of Memoir, released by Jossey Bass, an award-winning memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, and Becoming Whole: Writing your Healing Story, a ForeWord book of the year finalist. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.namw.org.

How does the critique work?

All writers are invited to submit a query (500 words max) before the event. (Instructions on how to submit your vignette are sent after you officially register.) Registrants will receive a written critique after the event.

How does the webinar work?

The live audio is delivered over your telephone or computer speakers. The Power Point presentations and desktop or document sharing are presented over the Internet. This is like a talk-radio program with visuals on the Web. You’ll be able to have a live Q&A chat with the speakers.

What equipment do I need?

All you need is a computer.  You will be able to view the slides and listen to the audio over the computer speakers.  However, if you are on wireless we recommend you listen to the audio over a phone line as VOIP technology is not as stable on a wireless connection.

Recommended equipment

  • Pentium III 733mhz+ or equivalent
  • Operating system: Windows 2000, XP, Vista
  • Browser: For optimal viewing experience, we recommend using Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.  For Netscape, only versions 4.x are supported at this time.
  • Mac users are encouraged to use Firefox 2.0 (or later) with Flash to view the webcast. You can also test your system using the system test button in menu on the left hand side.


If you have questions about the program, or have any technical difficulties, please contact writingwebinars@fwmedia.com.

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