(510) 859-4718 customersupport@namw.org

April 24, 2020 
11 AM PDT  |  12 PM MDT |   1 PM CDT  |   2 PM EDT
Linda Watanabe McFerrin
The Shape of Memoir

From literary to commercial; from personal to political to historical to celebrity; from journalistic to fictionalized; from essays to articles to poetry to books—your memoir can take many shapes.

Finding the form most suitable to your particular story, style, and voice is essential in assuring that you and your readers will be happy with the results. Clarifying why you are writing, how to keep writing and what final form(s) you’d find satisfying are key to your success in completing and sharing your memoir.

In reviewing your many options, you’ll discover some of the questions you need to be asking yourself about your memoir project—questions that will help you solve for the answers you need to abolish obstacles and take yourself—and your readers—on a unique and exciting journey.

In the session we’ll talk about:

  • Determining the shape of your memoir
  • Advantages and disadvantages of various forms
  • Abolishing obstacles
  • Finding the joy in your project
  • Knowing when and how to let go



Popular poet, travel writer, novelist and longtime contributor to newspapers, magazines and anthologies Linda Watanabe McFerrin (www.lwmcferrin.com) has mentored a long list of award-winning writers and best-selling authors toward publication. Linda has judged the San Francisco Literary Awards, the Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence and the Kiriyama Prize, served as a visiting mentor for the Loft Mentor Series and been guest faculty at the Oklahoma Arts Institute. A past NEA Panelist and juror for the Marin Literary Arts Council and the founder of Left Coast Writers, she has led workshops in Greece, France, Italy, England, Ireland, Central America, Indonesia, Spain, Cuba and the United States. Linda has authored two award-winning novels, a short story collection, poetry collections, a northern California guidebook, and her latest book, Navigating the Divide (Alan Squire Publishing, 2019).

As Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird says, “I have loved everything I’ve ever read by Linda Watanabe McFerrin. Her prose and poetry are filled with amazing women, charm, wisdom and light. She is both soulful and precise, eloquent and full of life.”

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