(510) 859-4718 customersupport@namw.org

Welcome to our new newsletter format, and thanks for joining us. I enjoy celebrating the seasons– the time of year, amount of light and our attitude towards holidays and rituals informs many memoirs and our cycles of creativity. Take a look at our upcoming events at the National Association of Memoir Writers, along with tips, prompts, and resources that can help your writing life.

March Events:

March 16 Member TeleseminarMemoir Writing Teleseminar: Finding Your Way through Your Family History

Victoria Costello, Author of A Lethal Inheritance writes: I believe that every memoir has the writer’s family history at its core. Even if ancestors are never mentioned, they are present—even omnipresent in your true story. That’s because the impetus for so much life writing, whether conscious or unconscious, is to remove the scab from a family wound and heal it.


March 30  Free Memoir Writing Telesummit

This all day teleconference is free to all! Sign up to receive an audio download for the whole day’s presenters.

Memoir Writing in the Digital Age

With guests Mark Coker, Dan Blank, Tessa Smith McGovern, Linda Joy Myers, Brooke Warner, and Lynn Serafinn.

The Year of the Memoir is 2012! Memoir writers have more tools than ever available for writing and publishing a memoir. But writers have many questions in this digital explosion–”Should I write short or long pieces, do I need to find an agent or is it better to self-publish–and how do I self-publish?

“What’s this that everyone is talking about–building a platform? What the heck is that, and why do I need one? Social media–it seems like just another thing to keep me from writing–and again–why do I need it? Marketing–aaak-I couldn’t even sell Girl Scout cookies. I just want to write.”

We have gathered some amazing experts that can answer all these questions, and much more…


Daffodils, Spring, and the Awakening of Creativity

Welcome to all new subscribers and members! It’s March and here in California the morning light splashes the yellow daffodils, and a nodding, smiling garden responds with new green shoots to the warmth of the sun. By this time of year, all of us eagerly look forward to more light, and the Equinox to come—the beginning of celebrating fertility and growth.

Writers and creative artists create patterns of light with their work, searching to bring warmth and light and into the soul. We may write dark or light stories, always burrowing into our truths, and moments of meaning. A kernel of gold shows up under the dirt when we discover a new way to look at life. That’s the magic of writing!

Tune in to what the story wants to tell you as it arises from your well of creativity. Dr. James Pennebaker, the premier researcher about the healing power of writing says, “Story is a way of knowledge.”  Writing your stories will educate you, inspire you, and take you to new places. It truly is a path of knowledge.

Capture the positive moments that changed your life—using scent, colors, sounds, and description to bring scenes alive. What a joy it is to relive your most treasured moments through writing. Writing toward the light, writing the special moments of love, connection, and transcendence, makes life brighter and juicily creative!

Happy Spring! May your writing life be fertile and abundant with new growth.


Workshops and Resources


Four Elements for Your Memoir Journey

We are excited to offer again Jerry Waxler’s popular Four Elements workshop that he’s done before here at NAMW. Jerry is a popular teacher, with a gentle manner and tons of great things to say about memoir writing—the journey, the structure, and the creativity of writing a memoir. In this brief class you will get a taste of Jerry’s expertise in memoir writing, and enjoy his skills as a teacher.


Jerry Waxler

March 21- April 2, 2012

4 weeks


90 minute workshop

Members – $69 Non-Members – $79

To start a memoir, and just as importantly, to keep going, you must master the art of self-direction. This workshop will provide you the four essential elements that every writer needs in order to overcome resistance, and harness positive energy. Based on Jerry Waxler’s Four Elements of Self Help for Writers, the class will help you get to your chair and maintain focus and creativity while you’re there. Writing exercises will show you how to connect with the strengths you have developed in the past.

The workshop will give you insights into these four aspects of energetic writing…read more.


Spring Writing a Healing Memoir/Spiritual Autobiography

Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D.


Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., MFA

March 26-May 27

Monday and Tuesday sessions available. Please check with Erica by emailing erica@namw.org to see if there is room in the section you would like to attend. Some are already fully enrolled.



Back by popular demand:  Keynote Luncheon

Women’s National Book Association—San Francisco Chapter


Saturday, March 24th, 2012 • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Sinbad’s Restaurant, Pier 2, San Francisco

$55 WNBA member, $65 non-member; $75 at the door

(Bonus:  Coffee and “How to Pitch Training” included from 8:00 to 9:00 am)

Register via PayPal at www.wnba-sfchapter.org

Bestselling author Meg Waite Clayton says, “I didn’t start out being a novelist, I started out as someone who wanted to be a novelist but had no idea how one went about that – much less any faith in my own talent.” Stay for lunch to rub elbows with the agents and acquisition editors as Meg shares her inspiring and persistent journey to the publication of her outstanding books.

This year’s list of Agents and Acquisition Editors are posted on our website.


Upcoming Writing Conferences

Redwood Writers Conference

April 28, 2012  Santa Rosa, CA



 Story Circle Conference

April 13-15  Austin Texas


I’m teaching “Writing a Spiritual Memoir.” Think about Austin in spring, wildflowers, networking.  A welcoming warm conference for women.


Books to Feed Your Writing Soul

View our Recommended Reading list at NAMW and choose some new books to read—memoirs, inspiration, and craft!




Writing Prompts

  1. Write about spring smells, tastes, colors, and sounds. Choose a scent, a taste, a color and a sound and write about each one. Develop your sketch into a story.
  1. What rituals did your family have in the spring—Easter eggs, Passover, spring cleaning? Did you help? How did you feel about these rituals?
  2. Write about being a young child alone on a spring day– what might you do, discover, create?
  3. Does this time of year have a spiritual significance for you? Write a scene showing what you do and how you feel about it.



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