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Date: February 20, 2015

Time: 11 AM PST  12 PM MST  1 PM CST  2 PM EST

Guest: Susan Itosusan-ito

Topic: Excerpts and Outtakes: Publishing Stories of Your Life in Short & Long Form

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I have been working on an ongoing memoir for many years now – even decades. Sometimes it’s hard to keep momentum going for a story that seems to never end. It’s been helpful to publish pieces of this work as short memoir pieces of a few pages, as well as a much longer “mini memoir” or what would be considered a “long short” or even novella length.  I’ll discuss using parts of the book-in-progress as excerpts, how they whet the appetite of your audience for more (and how encouraging and motivating this can be) as well as writing stand-alone pieces that still connect with the larger story.

  • How to keep going and stay motivated when writing a memoir spans many years
  • How to keep your audience (and potential agents/publishers) interested
  • How to use publishing smaller pieces as a form of encouragement
  • How to discern between excerpts and “bonus track” pieces – which will end up being part of the longer work, and which should stand on their own
  • My process of working with SheBooks, the e-book publisher for women’s stories


  • Mother’s Day, 1980 (excerpt)
  • A Small Crime (excerpt)
  • The Mouse Room (SheBooks stand-alone)

Susan Ito is the author of The Mouse Room, a SheBooks memoir. She co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). She is a creative nonfiction editor at the online literary journal Literary Mama, and her work has appeared in Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Hip Mama, The Bellevue Literary Review, Making More Waves and elsewhere.  She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the United States. She writes and teaches at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and in the MFA Program at Bay Path College. Her website is http://susanito.com.

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