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It’s April—a time of light, flowers, and burgeoning creativity. We at NAMW want to thank you for joining us at our various events these last months, and let you know about upcoming resources to assist you on your memoir writing journey.

Memoir Writing Workshop  at the National Association of Memoir Writers

Memoir writers need to be consummate storytellers, grabbing for our craft toolbox the techniques that make all stories great: well-rounded characters, an interesting plot, scintillating scenes that make us feel, see, smell and taste. We have to translate our inner world of memory to that of story, and do this seamlessly to the reader is drawn into our story world and gets lost in it.

At NAMW we are so pleased to offer a special workshop on Story Crafting with our own popular teacher, Jerry Waxler.

Teleclass 4 weeks starting April 16, 2012

Mondays, April 16, 23, 30, May 7, 2012


90 minute workshop 

Memoir writers need to be consummate storytellers, grabbing for our craft toolbox the techniques that make all stories great: well rounded characters, an interesting plot, scintillating scenes that make us feel, see, smell and taste. We have to translate our inner world of  memory to that of story.  Read more here.



Celebrating Poetry, Adrienne Rich, and National Poetry Month

Many of you come to memoir writing from poetry—that is how I got started writing my personal stories. My first autobiographical stories were in poetry form. Studying poetry helped me to learn about imagery, choosing words carefully, finding ways to write shorter.

We will be having guests that are poets and memoirists, fiction writers and memoirists—the whole range of writer talents. If you are a poet or enjoy writing poetry, celebrate your love of words all year long, but find moments to celebrate every day in April to celebrate National Poetry Month. Write a poem a day!

And while we are thinking about poetry, I want to take a moment to celebrate the life and work of Adrienne Rich, who died recently. She inspired me in the 1970s as a woman who put into words things that had not been said before, a woman of courage, using words to excavate a new reality for women, a new language. In the new memoir by Cheryl Strayed, Wild, Cheryl talks about reading Dream of a Common Language on her trek on the Pacific Crest Trail, as inspiration, as sustenance. To save room in her backpack, she would burn the books she had finished, but Dream of a Common Language was left intact, the extra weight offering a different kind of relief, spiritual food.

  • What are your favorite poems?
  • Write about how poetry has affected you, inspired you, given you courage.
  • Write out a poem that you love, stay with the words and images, then journal about what they mean to you.


What I learned at the National Association of Memoir Writers Telesummit

For a few more days, you can still sign up for the NAMW Telesummit and get the free audio download! The Telesummit was such a valuable “course” in writing and publishing your memoir, we wanted to make it available for you for a longer time.

Every time I do the Telesummit—twice a year for four years!—I get ready for the 6 hours on the phone, setting up my kitchen as the communication center with hot tea, snacks, the telephones, call in numbers, bios and books by the presenters, and my laptop! All this is in front of my window which overlooks a blooming wisteria, blossoming roses, and birds. A great way to spend the day!

And what a day it was March 30 when we started off with Mark Coker, who created Smashwords, a digital formatting and distribution company for eBooks. I plan to release Don’t Call Me Mother as an eBook soon, and found out why to choose Smashwords for this release. Tune into the audio to learn all about formatting, publishing and selling your eBook and how Smashwords can help you with this. You can be a published author within a few days—IF—and we stressed this—WHEN—your book is fully copyedited and proofed so you give the public a book you can be proud of that can get good reviews. You will NOT get reviewed with typos and errors—or you might get reviewed—but it will not be complimentary. All the presenters underscored the need to work hard to get your book in perfect shape.

Dan Blank was next, generous and upbeat—he took time from his brother’s wedding parties to talk with us! Thank you, Dan.  Read my review of Dan Blank’s discussion about platform here.

Tessa Smith McGovern, founder of eChook, a digital chapbook publisher talked about the reasons we should publish our shorter pieces—to build platform, and to enjoy the rewards of our writing life—and ways that eChook can help us achieve our writing goals. She is offering to extend her contest to invite all of you to submit. Find out more about this here.

Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers talked next about the need to write in flow, to write quickly the first draft—using a right brain approach—freewriting. And, Brooke is an advocate of outlining as a way to harness the freeflowing creativity of the right brain and focus it into a structure and form. I have recently become an advocate of this method, as my right brain is a little TOO fluid sometimes.

In 2013, we are launching a coaching-mentor program called Write Your Book in Six Months to help writers dig in, focus, and get that first draft done. Support and skills help writers accomplish their goals.

Find out more here, and sign up for our blog posts about mindsets, skillsets, and writing a longer work.

Lynn Serafinn is the author of 7 Graces of Marketing and teaches how to change our mindset from negative ideas about marketing to the idea that you are sharing what you love with others—to help them with something they need to do or learn. It’s as simple as that!


Writer’s Resources

 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.

Stories from the Heart VI will bring women from around the country to celebrate our stories and our lives. Through writing, reading, listening, and sharing, we will discover how personal narrative is a healing art, how we can gather our memories, how we can tell our stories. We welcome readers, writers, storytellers, and any woman with a past, present, and future. There will be opportunities to explore difficult or hidden issues, expand our relationships with other women, and discover different modes and media—such as art, dance, and drama—for sharing our stories. Come, learn, share, celebrate with us as we honor our stories! Read more here.


Write & Publish Your Book in 2012! Intensive Weekend
Saturday May 19th – Sunday May 20th

* Beth Barany, “Best Book Marketing in the 21st Century” * Catharine Bramkamp, “Navigating Today’s New Publishing Choices” * Linda Joy Myers, “How to Make Your Personal Story Irresistible for Your Readers” * Drew Merit “Use Improv to Rock Your Writing” * Ezra Barany “How to Use SEO to Get Massive Traffic To Your Book and Your Business



Writer’s Digest Annual Contest

Enter your memoir, short story, poems in this valuable contest.





WriterAdvice, www.writeradvice.com, is searching for flash fiction, memoir, and creative non-fiction that grabs, surprises, and mesmerizes readers in 750 words or less. If you have a story or memoir with a strong theme, sharp images, a solid structure, and an unexpected discovery, please submit it to the WriterAdvice Flash Prose Contest.

DEADLINE: April 18, 2012

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