With the bonus below, this class will now run 9 consecutive weeks: Mondays, 3/30 – 5/25.
This 4-week intensive (May 4-May 25) is our most ambitious and exciting master class to date. Join Brooke and Linda Joy for four consecutive Mondays to learn about the inner workings of voice—its evolution from something you talk or think about to existing on the page; how it’s driven by courage and authenticity; and narrative techniques that add sophistication, complexity, nuance, and resonance to your scenes so you create intimacy and a heart connection with your reader.
New (writing through the crisis) price: $99.
BONUS: We’re holding 5 writing sessions on Zoom—an online video conference app—leading up to the May class. We all need to be in community during these unprecedented times to support each other and to write. We will write together every week on Mondays at 4 pm PT | 7 pm ET on the following Mondays: 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27.
MAY 4: THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR VOICE—YOUR STORY, ON AND OFF THE PAGE
All memoir starts with your story, but the story that exists in your head or in your journals (or even on your blog) is different than the memoir you’ll eventually be publishing. Here we’ll talk about the secrets to good story, learning to take risks, and setting aside fears in order to write the story you need to tell.
MAY 11: DECIDING WHAT TO SHARE AND UNDERSTANDING THE MANY LAYERS OF SELF-EXPRESSION
Here we’ll explore what voice is—your perspective, the lens through which you see your story, and the point of view you express. We’ll also talk about permission—both to share and not to share, and how to make sure you’re creating meaning and connection in your writing.
MAY 18: FINDING THE COURAGE TO CREATE A BRIDGE FROM YOUR HEART TO THE PAGE
In this hour we’ll discuss yet another layer of voice—the opinions you have, your feelings, your reactions and biases. Embracing this level of voice and sharing typically triggers writers’ insecurities, and here we’ll discuss how to stay the course, harness your courage, and write from the heart.
MAY 25: THE ART OF NARRATION AND HOW TO PAINT PICTURES WITH YOUR WORDS
We present three narrative voices in this class, complete with examples, in an effort to support writers to be freer on the page. We’ll take a look at the two widely known narrative “I’s”—what we call the “immediate” narrator and the “guiding” narrator, and we’ll also explore a third, the reflective narrator, who brings meaning to your story by staying clear-eyed about why what you’re sharing matters.
Brooke Warner kicks off the day with an invitation to dream big—into what your memoir wants to be, into your publishing possibilities, and into the power of your self-expression. This hour is about voice—what you’ll do with it, how to get yourself out there, and how to nurture and grow the energy and inspiration of your creative calling.
11am PT/2pm ET: You and You: How to Access the Two “I’s” of Memoir Writing
Joshua Mohr offers up a craft-based hour about the two “I’s” in memoir writing—the one who’s “living” through the arc of the story, and the retrospective narrator, the one looking back and telling the yarn. This session will teach techniques to bring out the best in both these I’s, so they add up to a cohesive whole that’s emotionally fraught, with ratcheted-up stakes to engage the audience.
Noon PT/3pm ET: Big “Memoir” Magic
Elizabeth Gilbert will be in conversation with Brooke during this memoir-focused hour that will explore creativity, permission, passion, and what Liz has learned from living out loud. Brooke will field participant questions in real-time as we get to the heart of how Liz thinks about memoir and why telling your story matters, now more than ever.
1pm PT/4pm ET—Publishing Tips & Success Strategies for Memoirists
Literary agent Alia Hanna Habib offers up a behind-the-industry-scenes look at what literary agents are looking for when considering taking on memoirs: 1) concept; 2) voice; and 3) author platform. She’ll unpack these keys to success and explain what aspiring authors can do to up the ante in these areas to capture agents’ and editors’ attention.
2pm PT/5pm ET: Layering Meaning Into Your Scenes
Linda Joy Myers closes the day with a deep and practical presentation about how to layer detail and meaning into your scenes. In this hour you’ll learn how words paint pictures, how different narrative techniques allow you to deepen the readers’ experience, and how to balance showing vs. telling.
FREE Memoir Webinar June 1 at 4pm PT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET
Is Memoir on Your Bucket List?
Have you been thinking of writing a memoir, but aren’t sure if you should, how your family will react, or where to start? These are typical places where people hesitate about writing their story. But you can get help for all these problems.
I am excited to join with my colleague Brooke Warner again to offer you a free webinar this next Monday, June 1 that addresses the places where people who want to write typically get stuck. It doesn’t help either when other writers broadcast that you have to be well known, or an experienced writer to write your own story.
Take it from us—and we have coached over 150 people in our Write Your Memoir in Six Months classes—all you need is the desire to write and be willing to jump into the project you have always been meaning to do: write your story, share the family stories you know so well, help others learn from your wisdom and life experience.
The details are below. Hope to see you on the call!
FREE webinar June 1 at 4pm PT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET
Is Memoir on Your Bucket List?
If so, let this be the year you make it happen! This free 1-hour is a celebration of the memoir phenomenon, and an exploration of why now is a fantastic time to start and/or finish your memoir.
What we’ll be covering:
• The reasons why people write memoir.
One that we encounter often in the baby boomer generation is the desire to leave a legacy for the family. Maybe you want to explore who you were forty years ago, and to go deeper into your experience to sort out who you were and what your dreams were, and how you evolved into who you became. Another reason people write memoir is to find a way to tell a story that no one has ever told before—about themselves, about an experience. Do you have a story that’s full of inspiration? That might help or inform others? What are your stories? We invite you to consider this question and explore with us.
• Understanding what memoir is.
There is still, amazingly, a lot of discussion about who should and shouldn’t write a memoir; whether people who aren’t likely to get picked up by a big publisher should bother to write. There is speculation that there is too much memoir being written now, and that somehow it’s reserved for people who have a “valuable” story to tell, which immediately puts a judgment on memoir. We know that each story is valuable. Each story has something to offer the reader. In our classes we teach about how to engage your readers, and refine what you’re writing, but first you need to get clear on what you have to share with the world.
• 5 solid strategies for getting started.
Every writer is different and every story needs a beginning. But do you know where to start? Or maybe you’ve started, and you need some tips for getting restarted? These strategies work for that too. We will discuss the ways that you can begin and develop your memoir. We’ll give you pointers for ways to sort out your hundreds of thousands of memories into your story—with themes, turning points, and lessons for the reader.
• Success stories
Many of the writers we work with have finished their memoirs. Some have found agents, while others have gone on to publish their work with publishers or on their own. Many are working on their final revisions. Writing a memoir is an ongoing creative process that’s demanding at times, and other writers’ stories are often the inspiration and push you need to believe that you can do it too. We’ve worked with students who didn’t consider themselves “writers,” who learned the techniques of good writing and developed their craft and now fully own that title. When they sign with a publishing company or win prizes—as many of our authors have—we celebrate in their success. Writing a memoir does not have to be a dream you have, something you hope you might do one day; it can be a reality!
Do you want to write a memoir? Maybe you have already begun the amazing journey of transforming the pivotal stories in your life into a story. Writing to share your life lessons for others to benefit from your experience is a wonderful goal. Your story can help others gain perspective, not only of your story, but within their own lives. This is why I think memoir is so popular now: people are eager to learn from others who have traveled through life’s paths—whether thriving in success or overcoming the challenges of hard times. And readership for memoir is greater than ever.
You can reach out to others by sharing your story and create community through writing. As the publishing world transforms, we’re offered many new choices for how to share our stories with the world, from e-books to traditional publishing, and options in between.
Memoir goes beyond journaling, using the tools of fiction to create a world true to your life and what you’ve learned, and story that offers hope and insight to others. A memoir draws upon all aspects of who you are and explores the meaning of your life. It goes beyond fact, to how you understand yourself and your life.
As most of you know who receive this newsletter, six years ago I started the National Association of Memoir Writers because I felt that memoir was an important genre. I saw that memoir writers had specific needs in order to nurture their craft. When they begin, writers need to decide how to access and manage a lifetime of memories. And memoir writers need support, accountability and a safe writing community where they can see their stories take shape.
My first Annual National Association of Memoir Writers Retreat, this October in Connecticut, offers that safe community along with the support and expertise of three accomplished memoir writers and teachers. Check the retreat website for more details about program.
Join me, Judy Mandel and Jerry Waxler
Judy Mandel is the author of Replacement Child, a memoir that explores family and memory. Her memoir features a plane crash that happened before she was born, which killed one sister and gravely injured another. She faced the responsibility of truthfully telling her family’s story while exploring the depths of her own truth. At the retreat, Judy will talk about how to begin your memoir, finding your structure and your voice, and the themes of memory and truth.
Jerry Waxler, author of Memoir Revolution, presents reviews of memoirs on his blog Memory Writers Network. He will talk about structure, theme and the magic of story at the retreat. In his study of hundreds of memoirs, he tries to answer the question: how do you structure memories to turn them into a story? In this retreat, he will share some of the secrets he has learned about the internal and external journey, and the arc of character that’s necessary for a good memoir.
Linda Joy Myers, author of The Power of Memoir, Journey of Memoir and Don’t Call Me Mother is passionate about helping memoirists develop their idea for a story into a first draft that can be developed into a book. A therapist for the last 35 years, Linda brings her experience with healing and transformation to memoir writing, and is an expert at helping groups of writers deepen into the truths of their story. Her new book Breaking the Silence will focus on ways the inner critic and shame get in the way of writing and how to break through to having a full voice. Linda Joy will teach how to begin your memoir, confront the silences within, and how to use craft to support your forward progress.
Sign up now for the early bird discount that ends August 4th. As soon as you sign up, the free bonuses will arrive in your inbox so you can start reading and working on new ideas for your memoir right away.
You will receive these 3 Bonus Gifts immediately after you Register!
Please join us for this special opportunity immerse yourself in your memoir for three days.
You’ll be supported by Judy, Linda, and Jerry to explore the territory of your memoir, and learn new techniques to help you get your work to a final draft.
THE RETREAT WEEKEND INCLUDES:
Three private consultations—one each with Judy Mandel, Jerry Waxler, and Linda Joy Myers— about your memoir. Learn from all three presenters in a private coaching session. $300 value.
Handout packet of information and resources to draw from after the conference.
Drawings to win a free year-long membership to all the benefits of being a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers. $149.00 value.
A post conference group call and Facebook private group to support your ongoing work.
We will meet in workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions with all three presenters, and in informal gatherings. Each workshop offers supportive guidance and feedback to help you develop the vision and structure of your memoir. You will leave with many new vignettes, and new friends that can be part of your memoir journey in the future.