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Newsletter October 2012 

It’s nearly October—the beginning of a new season of bright colors and longer nights, crisp air and the gentle winding down of the year—and what a year! The popularity of the genre of memoir has continued to grow.

How has your writing year gone—did you get the writing done that  you were planning? Perhaps you finished your book, or you’re already publishing your book! Whatever steps you take with your writing makes you feel good, that you are getting somewhere and accomplishing your writing goal of becoming an author.

Here at NAMW, we have had many great teleseminars and Roundtables, these last months, and are looking forward to the bi-annual Memoir Telesummit coming up in November! A whole day of memoir—from learning about how story works in the brain to finding new publishing solutions, social media, and marketing—all the things you need to know about writing, publishing, and getting your memoir birthed into the world.


Celebrate NaNoWriMo and National Lifewriting Month in November.

Sign up for our FREE Telesummit at the National Association of Memoir Writers! 

You don’t have to attend all day to get the benefit of learning from all these experts and authors. SIGN UP for the NAMW Telesummit and receive the audio of the whole day.

And tell your friends! Use this URL to send out on your networks and emails! It’s rare that we get to talk with these experts, so take advantage of the Telesummit opportunity!

See you there! It’s like having a free course in writing, marketing and publishing opportunities and skills.

National Association of Memoir Writers Fall Telesummit

From Story to Sold! Becoming a Successful Memoir Author

Free all-day Teleconference

Sign up to receive the free audio downloads of all five sessions

During this Telesummit authors, publishers, and experts share ways you can be the successful author you want to be. When you sign up, you will receive the audio download of this event!

We are lucky as writers to be in an atmosphere of excitement about being an author. There continues to be an unprecedented explosion of memoirs, new authors, and publishing choices. It’s a time to learn as much as you can to create the best outcome for you and your book.


Session One

10 AM PST   11 AM MST   12 PM CST  1 PM EST

How to get Published, Reach Thousands of Readers, and Avoid Lawsuits with your Memoir

Mike O’Mary

Mike O’Mary started Dream of Things in 2009, focusing on memoirs and anthologies of creative nonfiction. During this session, Mike will tell you what he looks for when he’s reading a new manuscript, including the three things that a memoir MUST have before he will offer you a publishing contract.

You’ll also learn about libel and invasion of privacy concerns in memoirs – and steps you can take to avoid such lawsuits down the road. Read more here.


Session Two

Wired for Story: Using Brain Science to Write an Unforgettable Memoir

Lisa Cron

11:15 PST   12:15 MST   1:15 PM CST   2:15 PM EST

A memoir is a narrative that, by definition, actually happened, but the mere fact that it actually happened isn’t enough to engage the reader – not by a long shot. I’ll discuss how to do that by giving the reader’s brain what it’s hungry for: a story that stands alone and has a clear point; a driving reason to be curious about what happens next; insight into what you’re feeling and how you’re making sense of what happens; and meaning they can apply to their own lives.  Read more here.


Session Three 

How to Use Your Blog to Get Your Story Told and Sold

Nina Amir

12:30 PM PST   1:30 PM MST   2:30 PM CST  3:30 PM EST  

A blog is absolutely the best, easiest and fastest way for a writer to promote a book before, during and after it is published. Why? Because blogging involves writing—something writers are good at and enjoy. And blogs make aspiring and published authors and their books searchable—or findable—on the Internet, the place where everybody searches for everything these days.

No matter the topic of your life story, if you blog well, a blog can attract readers, publishers and the media, ensuring you get noticed and your story gets told and sold—to lots and lots or readers. The blog-to-book trend has escalated as publishers continue to seek out successfully testmarketed book ideas—successful blogs—on the Internet. Read more here.


Session Four

Social Media Just for Writers: A Discussion about Apps and Tips to Create Author Success

Frances Caballo

1:45 PM PST   2:45 PM MST  3:45 PM CST  4:45 PM EST 

During this part of the Telesummit, we will explore the big four social media networks right now – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest – and provide writers with new tools to expand their online presence. In this workshop, you will learn about what the networks do and are, and how to economize your time to get more out of the networks you decide to use.  Read more here.


Session Five

How Understanding Your Publishing Options Makes You a Better Memoirist

Brooke Warner

Kamy Wicoff


How do you figure out what publishing direction is best for you and your book given all the options that are available today?  What is hybrid publishing anyway?

Kamy Wicoff and Brooke Warner, cofounders of She Writes Press, a new publishing solution for women writers, will discuss why they think self-publishing is a viable and savvy option for writers, and why it especially makes sense for writers who don’t have a platform.

Learn about:
•The various kinds of self-publishing options now available to authors: “true” self-publishing; subsidy publishing; and hybrid options.

•Why Kamy and Brooke are both choosing to self-publish their own books without trying to go the traditional route first. Read more here.

Remember when you sign up for the conference, you receive 5 hours of audios to keep for your personal reference and future learning. Sign up today!

Click here to sign up for our Fall 2012 Telesummit.


 Free Call—Are you Stuck in the Middle of Writing your Memoir?

Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • Energy dips
  • Procrastination
  • Doubting memories
  • Feelings of uncertainty
  • Questioning whether there’s an audience for your book

If you’ve started writing a memoir and put your project on the shelf–indefinitely–or if you’re slogging through a book you know you want to write before you die, then you are in what we call the Muddy Middle. You don’t have to be here forever. There is a way out. But the only way out is through.

Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and Brooke Warner, former Executive Editor of Seal Press, can help you find your way through.

They are offering a FREE CALL on Monday, October 1, 2012 at 4pm PST | 5pm MST | 6pm CST | 7pm EST:

“How do you know if you’re in the Muddy Middle?”

In this call they’ll help memoirists who’ve felt any of the above-mentioned feelings creeping in–signs that you might be in the Muddy Middle. And they’ll offer ideas for what to do about it!

(530) 881-1300
Code: 879104


Make the memoir you’ve always wanted to write a reality!

Write Your Memoir in Six Months is a course designed for any writer who has started a memoir and finds themselves stuck, overwhelmed, or consumed by apathy, fear, and self-criticism.

In this course, you will:

  • deal with crises of confidence, writer’s block, resistance, and more.
  • discover a writing process that works and will keep you on track.
  • find ways to overcome your own inner critic and what other people think.
  • write more prolifically and confidently than you ever have.
  • build and maintain your platform to prepare for publishing your own book down the road.

If you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit to a six-month intensive program, we are offering a short course to give you an introduction to the Muddy Middle and tips for making your way out.

You’re in the Muddy Middle–Now What?

*Mondays, 4 PM PST/7 PM EST (October 15, 22, 29 & November 5)


We’re offering all WOW! Subscribers the discounted rate of just $89.00.

*All course calls are one-hour teleseminars.

Sign up here: http://writeyourbookinsixmonths.com/1-month-intros/


Free Roundtable Discussion—Immersion Memoir with Robin Hemley

October 11, 2012 


Robin Hemley has written another wonderful new book to help memoir writers A Field Guide for Immersion Writing—Memoir, Journalism and Travel. I have dog-eared and underlined at least half of the book, and after reading other books for a while, have returned to it for more inspiration.

I’m so pleased to have Robin discuss the interesting form of memoir writing called “Immersion Memoir.” In his book he says that these forms include “Quest, experiment, investigation, reenactment, or infiltration.” The book goes on to talk about immersion journalism, and travel writing, which will be discussed in less detail on this call.

Please join us to learn about what you are already doing if you are writing a memoir—looking at a quest through your writing, investigating people or incidents you find meaningful, or putting yourself in an environment where the story emerges out of the situation. Read more and sign up here.


October Member Teleseminar

October  26,  2012


Catharine Bramkamp

Memoir Writing: Capturing Your Moment in Time 

“The whole world is a work of art [and] we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.”

Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being

Woolf wrote about how the day to day activities of our lives are more often than not,   dull and unremarkable, she said she didn’t remember what she ate for tea with Leonard, but she had a vivid memory of a fight with her brother, which would logically mean that the story of the sibling battle is more interesting than the cakes and scones eaten for tea. Read more…


 Times They Were A-Changing:Women Remember the 60s & 70s

Where were you in the 60s and 70s?  Seeking women with telltale stories of that extraordinary era for a unique anthology: Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s and 70s. Prizes will be awarded to the top three personal narratives, though all entries are eligible for publication: First – $300, publication, and 5 copies of the anthology; Second – $150, publication, and 3 copies of the anthology; Third – $75, publication, and 2 copies of the anthology. Deadline: January 15, 2013. Entry fees: $20 for prose, $15 for poetry. For complete guidelines visit www.timestheywereachanging.com .


Your Memoir Journey

 When you write a memoir, the journey will change you. There is no way that we can encounter art, the imagination, and our inner psyches without being changed by the experience. And just like any journey, it shifts our perspective on life and on ourselves. You will not be the same person who began the journey.

As poet T. S. Eliot wrote in his poem “Four Quartets”

You are not the same people who left that station

Or who will arrive at any terminus. 

When you begin your journey, you’re excited about telling the tales, recounting your memories, and figuring out what happened when. You’re eager to get those scenes on the page, pleased to recall the details of your grandmother’s garden, the vacation that went awry, or the powerful birth of a child. During this stage, you are “downloading” your memories, getting them out as fast as you can.

You have to give yourself permission for that messy first draft, which Anne Lamott famously calls the “shitty first draft.” Here, we get to know our story and ourselves more, and we begin to see the plot emerge.

Then there is the stage where you find yourself stopping, slowing down, finding other things to do. Your doubts come in, and your get lost in the complex circumstances of your life, your buried memories and secrets.

You may be tempted to turn away from what you’re encountering, wondering if you should have begun at all. This is a sign that you’re in the muddy middle of your memoir. This stage needs attention, solutions, and discipline. Time bandits and the psychology of writing memoir get in the way, and you need to tap into new ways of thinking and organizing your time.

As you keep writing, you will find yourself sorting through the challenges of your memoir, and enjoying the new skills you have developed along the way. In the last stage of writing, you have a new perspective and energy, you can see the end of the story, the first draft, and are able to focus into completing it.

Tips for your Journey

  1. Schedule your writing time; make dates with yourself to write.
  2. Get out of the house to make sure you don’t clean house instead of write. Get a writing buddy to keep you accountable.
  3. Locate your 10 turning points and list them so you have a focus for your memoir and begin to create the spine of your plot.
  4. List the theme(s) of your memoir, and make sure that in each chapter or scene you include the message of your theme.
  5. Remember that a memoir is a story for others, not just a journal entry. Create a world for your reader to live in during your story.
  6. It takes a village to write and publish a memoir. Find your writing tribe, coach, or class to keep you on track.



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