May 15, 2015
10 AM PDT-1:45 PM PDT
The Power of Story: Write a Memoir with Heart and Craft
In my work with memoirists through the years, I continue to be impressed and awestruck by the ways I see story carry the power to touch lives, to present the truths of how we live, love, are born and die—the universality of the human experience. Memoir, along with other literary and art forms, serves to illuminate and connect us all in ways that can be amazingly transformative. In this era of social media, we can see how much it’s possible to connect with people all over the world through words and pictures. Being on Facebook and Twitter is like “reading” many mini-memoirs!
In this free Telesummit, The Power of Story, presented by the National Association of Memoir, you will deepen your knowledge about what a story is, discover how story works on us emotionally, and learn new ways to get your story out into the world even before you have a published book.
I’m so pleased to present some of our favorite people to you during this telesummit, each of them with new things to share and new ways you can develop your memoir writing life.
Lisa Cron, the author of Wired for Story, is back with us to give a preview of her new book, and teach some time-honored ways to create a memoir that no one can resist.
Denis LeDoux, an old friend of mine in memoir-writing-land, will talk about creative and innovative ways to draw from your stories to create your platform through writing small and short pieces. Publishing shorter pieces helps not only you to get out in the world with your stories, but your readers too as they can connect with your wisdom and life experience early on as you develop a longer book length work.
Amy Ferris, the amazing author of Marrying George Clooney, editor of Dancing at the Shame Prom and Shades of Blue to be released in October by Seal Press is back by popular demand to deepen our conversation into the ways that memoir can reach into the heart and draw out the pain, and can help us connect with our broken and our best selves.
Brooke Warner, my teaching partner in Write Your Memoir in Six Months, and I are teaching a series of ever deepening memoir courses, and we want to bring you the latest insights we have in how memoir can connect us all through the heart.
Each discussion is 45 minutes, with 15 minutes for direct questions and comments, so please join us live if you can! All sessions are recorded and if you sign up, you will receive the recordings.
What Your Reader Really Wants: 5 Steps to Writing an Irresistible Memoir
10 am PDT 11 am MDT 12 CDT 1 pm EDT
Every writer wants two things: to tell a story that hooks readers and never lets them go, and to find a way to accomplish that without going through the long slog of writing draft after draft. In this teleseminar we’ll examine the five steps to take before you start writing that will save you months (or years) of hard work, not to mention heartache and frustration. You’ll unearth the key story elements beneath the plot that bring it to life, drive it forward, and give it meaning. These elements have little to do with the surface events or “writing well” and everything to do with what we’re hardwired to respond to in every story we read. Learning what your reader’s brain craves, and why, will allow you to zero in on what your story is really about before you write word one. You’ll not only produce a more powerful memoir, chances are you’ll drastically reduce your rewrite time.
- Why story isn’t about what happens externally, but about an internal change.
- How to avoid the reason most memoirists fail – i.e. they tell us what happened, without realizing that the story is really about how what happened changed them. St
- The need to be vulnerable, and go deep. If you don’t have something to learn when the memoir begins, you have nothing to teach us. The reader doesn’t care about what happened to you, they care about how the lessons you learned along the way can help them navigate their own life.
- How to figure out what your memoir is actually about by zeroing in on the point you’re making.
- How to pinpoint the internal change you’ll make based on what events will force you to deal with.
- How to isolate the specific story you’re telling from the rest of your life.
- How to use backstory to create the lens through which you’ll evaluate what happens to you in the moment, on the page, as you make sense of what’s happening to you
Lisa Cron is the author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence (Ten Speed Press), and her video tutorial Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story can be found at Lynda.com. Her TEDx talk, Wired for Story, opened Furman University’s 2014 TEDx conference, Stories: The Common Thread of Our Humanity. Her new book, Story Genuis: How to Use Brain Science to Crack the Code of Your Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) will be released in August, 2016. She’s a story coach helping writers, nonprofits, educators and memoirists wrangle their story onto the page.
Choose the Form for Your memoir—Book, Mini-Memoir, Flash Memoir, Anthology
11: 15 am PDT 12:15 pm MDT 1:15 pm CDT 2:15 pm EDT
A memoir allows you to leave a legacy, and there are many choices for how to fulfill that desire. You can write a long-form book, which as you know takes a lot of time, even years. But while you are writing your book, you can select sections to publish as an eBook, or send out to literary magazines, or publish in an anthology. You can even choose to write a very short flash memoir. All forms of your memoir are acceptable. In this teleseminar we’re going to look at the choices you can make to not only get your legacy written, but published and shared with the world.
You will learn:
- How to think out of the box about your life story.
- What a memoir anthology is and how to focus your work toward that goal.
- The short memoir, often called a mini-memoir –different from a flash memoir, which is another form you can choose.
- The personal essay—how it is similar and different from a memoir “story.”
Each of these forms presents you a choice for your writing and publishing life, and helps you to think bigger than the book. During this teleseminar you will find out more about how to think about your life story in new ways and choose how you would like to implement these ideas.
Denis Ledoux grew up in a three-generation home with paternal grandparents who lived upstairs. Stories have always played an important role in Denis’ life. As a child, he heard tales of his extended family and their history recounted by the family storyteller, his memere. He directs the The Memoir Network, an international group of life story writing teachers who use his methods and materials.
Denis holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Education. As a short story writer, he drew on family characters, settings, and stories for his fiction. In 1989, he won the Maine Fiction Award for Mountain Dance & Other Stories. His other titles include What Became of Them and Other Stories from Franco-America, and Lives in Translation: An Anthology of Contemporary Franco-American Writings which he edited. Denis’ short fiction has twice been honored with the Maine Writing Fellowship Award (1991, 1996), an NEA-based merit award.
Saving our Lives through Writing
12:30 pm PDT 1:30 pm MDT 2:30 pm CDT 3:30 PM EDT
Amy Ferris and I have something in common: we have seen how powerfully story acts as a witness to our lives, there on the page, there with words and sentences. We have observed firsthand how writing helps to save people’s spirits from being lost in depression, and acts as a guiding light to help create a path to fullness and joy. Hope is an important part of survival and for becoming who we were meant to be. Join us in this inspiring conversation about how important it is to get your story on the page, first for you. Then you can think bigger—how do I connect with others with my story? Maybe we all don’t have to be so alone with the truths of our lives.
You will learn:
- How the power of story to create a new foundation for our souls and create a bridge to others.
- About the healing power of story and the research by Dr. James Pennebaker
- How story helps to change the brain and heal the body
- Techniques that you can use to tease out and invite your hidden stories to be revealed.
amy ferris is an author, screenwriter, essayist, playwright and editor. She edited the upcoming new anthology Shades of Blue, to be released October, 2015. her memoir, marrying george clooney, confessions from a midlife crisis (seal press) was adapted in an off-broadway play in 2012. she has written films (mr. wonderful, anthony minghella, director and funny valentines, julie dash, director), tv, and has contributed to numerous anthologies, including the one she co-edited, dancing at the shame prom (seal press). she was guest editor-in-chief for two magazine, glossies, where she created the annual all women’s issue. amy lives in pennsylvania with her husband and two cats. she is very content on most days.
How to Make People Fall in Love with Your Memoir
Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers
1:45 pm PDT 2:45 pm MDT 3:45 PM CDT 4:45 pm EDT
Your main job as a memoirist is to give something of value to your readers as you tell your story. To do that, you need to know about voice, the narrative arc, writing a great scene, and how to create a takeaway for your reader. We are excited to share with you the latest craft information that we have gleaned from analyzing The Liars’ Club, The Glass Castle, Angela’s Ashes, The Tender Bar, and the new memoir, H is for Hawk.
- Why will the reader care about your story?
- Scenes, the building blocks of great storytelling.
- Making a connection with the reader by keeping an eye on takeaway.
- Creating a narrative voice with authenticity and personality.
- Guiding the reader deep into the meaning and emotions of your story through solid story-building.
Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of What’s Your Book? and How to Sell Your Memoir. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing, and she is an equal advocate for publishing with a traditional house and self-publishing. She sits on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). Her website was selected by The Write Life as one of the Top 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2014. She lives and works in Berkeley, California.
Linda Joy Myers is president of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and a therapist for 35 years. She’s the award winning author of Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness, The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, The Journey of Memoir and Becoming Whole—Writing Your Healing Story. Don’t Call Me Mother and Becoming Whole were finalists in the ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. Linda co-teaches the program Write Your Memoir in Six Months, and offers editing and coaching for writers. www.namw.org. Blog: http://memoriesandmemoirs.com
Sign Up Here for Our FREE Memoir Telesummit
Date: May 15, 2015
Time: 10 AM PDT-1:45 PM PDT
The Power of Story: Write a Memoir with Heart and Craft
I just listened to the interview with Catherine Bramkamp about podcasting and just want to say thank you! This timely hour of information answered many questions and has helped spur me towards creating my first podcast. When I do I’ll let you know!!
Thank you Charlene for the feedback. I learned a lot too listening to Catherine. Do let us know when you make your first podcast!
I wasn’t able to listen to the conference in its entirety. When will the audio download be available?
Thanks for all you do for memoir writers!
Looking forward to May 15 with all of you. Still in love with my own story. Miracle: writing that little girl explained to me the woman I’ve become, from years in an orphanage left there by a desperate mother, to a home with Mama’s huge disappointment with life, post WW2.
From a traumatized child to a robust overcompensating full blown woman, somewhere in there emerged a balance, a culmination of a survival technique that blossomed from a gritty girl to a complex survivor with a rewarding life, capable of contribution and devoid of self pity. Hey! I’m burnished to a fine gleam! My Mama was a Boom Boom Girl. It wasn’t all bad!
Hi Barbarann, it sounds like you have a great attitude and perspective about the past and your mother. Congratulations about your book! See you May 15!
This looks great and it is very timely for me. I have two books out already; one is a memoir of the paranormal events in my life. It was the book that helped me to “get my feet wet” in publishing. The second is based on my time spent as a church office worker and contains just a bit of memoir in it; it’s mostly self-help. It’s the third one that is the most challenging however. It is based on surviving emotional and verbal abusive, abuse so severe that it is hard to determine if it was strictly due to mental illness of the abuser or possible demonic oppression or even possession. I have a lot of questions regarding whether or not to publish this one under a pen name.
Dear Terry, congratulations on your books! It’s hard to decide about publishing books about abuse. Possibly a literary attorney could help you with your questions. Robert Pimm has presented with us here at NAMW. See you on Friday!
I thank NAMW for offering its members the opportunity to learn from so many distinguished writers and teachers.
Hi Lorenzo, and thank you for being one of our great guests recently! So glad your book–and you–are doing well!
I would love to participate in the whole day’s teleconference, but have another obligation from about noon that day. I hope that you will offer this again in the future! I’ll join in for as long as I can on the 15th.
So sorry you are unable to make it! Please make sure to still sign up so that you can receive the free audio downloads of the event.
Paula, glad you signed up. All the people who sign up will get an audio of the event!
So looking forward to this telesummit. Since it’s my first can you tell me what the times are for mountain time as I am in Alberta, Canada. Also do I join to get the number to call?
The times for your area are 11am MDT-5pm MDT. In order to get the call details, please sign up on the event page here: https://namw.org/2015/04/free-memoir-telesummit/
My story is a tale of an inner voyage of discovery. To go to the depths of self and uncover what lies below requires a certain kind of strength, and the courage to be true to your self and to your story. It is no great adventure–unless you are looking for a pearl of great price, i.e. reconciliation with self, and reconciliation with God.
It was an adventure to go back and resurrect the ghosts of my grandparents, and then enabling the old voices of my parents to come to life. I gave them the chance to speak once again. Peeling back the layers of relationship with both parents revealed them not only as they were, but also as I wanted them to be.
I’m looking forward to May 15th with you. I’m excited to be among other writers and to learn more about telling my story authentically, openly and powerfully. Owning and telling my life’s journey of coming out late in life and navigating the often choppy, sometimes silken, waters of youth-focused gay culture, sexuality and Self, my true heart, has an individual and collective piece. As I heal and own myself I might help others do the same. And, there are just some pretty damn funny, poignant and human parts to my story! Until next week, be well.
I love Lisa Cron’s book Wired For Story and am really looking forward to joining in on Friday. My memoir title keeps changing, but right now it’s “Redemption Isn’t Found in a Hail Mary” How My Unborn Children Saved My Life”. Looking forward to going deep and learning how to tell the story that I don’t want to tell.
We look forward to being with you too, Clif. It sounds like you do have a story that can help others navigate similar challenges!
Hello everyone! Is it possible for those who have books completed to add a link to them or to give titles? Many accomplished writers here with some fabulous storylines. Looking forward to the seminar upcoming. JoAnn
I published LAST FLIGHT OUT: Living, Loving & Leaving. 2005, Wising Up Press, Decatur, GA. Memoir of our 3 year journey with my 3 war fighter pilot husband’s life and death after diagnosis with ALS, acquired from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. It is a love story sharing that a good marriage can be as joyous in
sickness as it is in health.
I look forward to this tele summit. Thanks, Phyllis Langoton
The content of the upcoming tele summit makes it seem like you’re been listening to my prayers/ heart’s yearnings. Look forward to Friday!
Sounds like a wonderful program with a great bunch of folks….I am looking forward to listening to the telesummit.
This is awesome. It would be great to have live chat commentary for each session. I had a comment for Oskar from the first session. Read Fairyland by Alysia Abbott!!
I registered for the teleconference and have not been able to get on. I am still trying…please make sure that I get access to the audio
How do I get the free audio to listen to after the fact…?
To bad I missed this event…I think I would have learned something valuable.
Hi, I only had time for Lisa cron’s session but would like to access the other talks. How can I do that?. Thank you for doing this work.
Hi I seem to be having a very difficult time listening to telesummits. I was air traveling last Friday 15 and have wanted to listen this week without success. Also I thought I was signed up today but have not been able to listen again. I’m probably doing something wrong, but would love to receive instruction and recordings for these and subsequent events. Thanks so much Nancy S Jones
three of us were unable to make it and we all signed up prior to the event. It’s June 1 and none of us have received a link to the podcast. Is there something more we should do?
No that is all you need to do. If you don’t get the needed information please email firstname.lastname@example.org