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Free Roundtable Discussion

December 6, 2012


Linda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell, and Amber Starfire, editors

When we write memoir, we’re capturing not only setting, characters, and significant events, we’re also creating a legacy of the times we lived in: we’re creating personal history that is part of the larger fabric of that era, much like women pioneer diaries offer us now 150 years after they crossed the United States on foot.

Kate Farrell, Linda Joy Myers, and Amber Lea Starfire, editors of the upcoming anthology Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s, are passionate about the decades that profoundly changed their lives, and are creating the anthology to capture that historic legacy in personal narrative and poetry.

The ripples of change in women’s lives that began during those decades continue to build all the way to the present, and new generations of women are reaping the benefits–but many of them don’t know what happened in any kind of detail. Several young women have said to me, “Tell me what it was like then. How were you involved; how did the sixties and seventies change you?”

As you write your experiences, it’s important to keep in mind what a story is and how it works, how to integrate your personal moments within the fabric of the unfolding of historical events. Learn how to shape a narrative to reflect your individual experience in the context of a time and place. Our personal stories offer important insights to the social and consciousness transformations unique to that time.

During this Roundtable, we will discuss:

  • The difference between vignette and story (short memoir or personal narrative)
  • How to find the intersection between social change (history) and your own experience
  • The dos and don’ts of writing about social legacy: eye witness only, telling only, omitting larger context
  • How to infuse components of effective scene writing with historical meaning

If you are interested in entering contests and submitting your work for publication, find out about the editorial process: what editors look for in stories with social/historical meaning. To learn more about submitting to the anthology, please visit http://www.timestheywereachanging.com



Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, & Co-President of the Women’s National Book Association, SF, is the author of The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, the prize-winning memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, and a workbook The Journey of Memoir: The Three Stages of Memoir Writing. She co-teaches the program Write your Memoir in Six Months with Brooke Warner. She coaches writers, and offers teleseminars and workshops nationally. https://www.namw.org Visit her blog on how to write a successful memoir: http://memoriesandmemoirs.com

Kate Farrell earned a Masters degree from UC-Berkeley; is an author, teacher, librarian, and storyteller and has published numerous educational materials. Kate is the founder of Wisdom Has a Voice memoir project http://wisdomhasavoice.com/ and editor of the anthology, Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother, 2011. She’s a member of the Redwood Branch of the California Writer’s Club, Story Circle Network, the National Association of Memoir Writers, and is Vice-President of the Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter.

Amber Lea Starfire is an author, editor, and teacher whose passion is helping others tell their stories, make meaning of their lives, and access inner wisdom and creativity through the act of writing. Author of Week by Week: A Year’s Worth of Journaling Prompts & Meditations, her work has appeared in Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memory of Mother, Vintage Voices 2012: Call of the Wild, and literary journals. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco, and is a member of the California Writers Club in Santa Rosa (Redwood Writers), the Story Circle Network, National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW), and International Association for Journal Writing (IAJW). Visit Amber’s website, www.writingthroughlife.com.


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