Celebrate Writing–NaNoWriMo, National Lifewriting Month, the National Association of Memoir Writers Telesummit


Writing in November!

What a great month for writers! We writers are being invited from all kinds of sites, programs, blogs, and presentations to attend to our writing this month! Get this: it’s NaNoWriMo–the National Novel Writing Month challenge. Write 50,000 words of a novel in one month and get a certificate. You are supposed to write a novel, but you can use this month to challenge yourself to write  your memoir. It’s a way to get that “shitty first draft” out and on the page for future editing and revision. That is the hardest part–getting out the initial “download” of the stories and memories you have in your head.

All month long it’s National Lifewriting Month, and my long term colleague and friend Denis LeDoux, owner of Soleil Lifestory Network, is offering some terrific classes and workshops this month. Check out the details at the bottom of the post.

And, at the National Association of Memoir Writers, we kick off the month with our FREE premier event the NAMW Telesummit where we invite experts to speak about story writing, publishing, blogging, and social media. NAMW is my baby, so I’m so excited to spend 6 hours on  the phone talking with people I respect, and LOVE talking to.

I’ll be sharing time with Mike O’Mary, owner of Dream of Things, a small publisher of memoir, who will talk about how to present your work to a small publisher. 

Lisa Cron, author of Wired on Story, will discuss the brain science behind story writing, and what our brains crave through story.

Nina Amir, who has her own amazing blog month all November: Write Nonfiction in November–a whole month of blog posts and articles about writing nonfiction–is going to speak about How to Blog your Book to help it sell.

Frances Caballo, author of the new book Social Media Just for Writers is going to educate us on social media–and make it simple and easy to use for us right brain writers who tend to not want to learn about social media. But as a reformed cynic, I can say I’ve learned how to make it easy and fun–so you can too!

Our final presenters will be Kamy Wikoff and Brooke Warner, who created SheWritesPress, a hybrid press that answers the needs of current writers,  especially memoirists in this challenging and changing world of publishing.

To sign up for the free all day event–ask your questions live on the line, or get the free audio downloads afterwards–sign up here.

Resources from Denis LeDoux:

The Soleil Lifestory Network has prepared tele-classes, audios, and handouts–all free for the month of November–to support you in your writing.

Create Characters That “Live” on the Page! In this tele-class, you will learn many simple techniques to enhance the verisimilitude of your memoir characters.  Monday, November 5, 2012, 8-9 PM/ET.

 – Tell the Truth. In this tele-class, you will learn how to avoid sins of omission and commission and how to appreciate the truth–the whole truth. The tele-class will also discuss the pain that can often company telling the truth. Monday, November 19, 2012, 8-9 PM/ET

– Price it Right. This tele-class geared to help Memoir Professionals to assess their product and service pricing and to bring it in line with both their needs and that of the public. Monday, November 26, 2012, 8-9 PM/ET

 Please join me at the National Association of Memoir Writers for a great day, and check out all the other events going on this month. And be sure to write, write, write!!


Publishing Wild West Show–Finding your Way as a Memoirist

As writers, we find ourselves involved in the publishing world–either happily or with frustration and stress. Today at the Free Roundtable discussion at NAMW, I’m going to speak with Madeline Sharples, author of Leave the Hall Light On, a powerful book about her the son who committed suicide, leaving the family in ashambles, how she recovered her sense of self and family in the aftermath of the tragedy. Though it is tragic, Sharples’ skillful handling of scenes, unfolding awarenesses, and the recovery process makes it a book we all can learn from. Her book did well, but suddenly a few months ago, her publisher went out of business. The discussion we’re having over at the National Association of Memoir Writers will address how she found a publisher for her book, which was not a new book, and what he looks for in memoirs.

We’ll be talking with Mike O’Mary, publisher and owner of Dream of Things. We will look at that state of the publishing industry today, and what authors need to know about publishing before they look for a publisher.

Next week self-publishing is the focus at the member teleseminar on Friday, September 21 with Linda Austin and Sonia Marsh. We will be addressing the practicalities of publishing through the different platform, why one might be better than another, depending on your needs, and how to find out what you need to know to make the best choices.

There is so much to know. As both a self-published and traditionally published author, I have to say both are appealing in different ways, and that I still have a lot to learn, as the industry is changing probably every day. Stay tuned to more about publishing in this wild west ride the industry is going through. And in the meantime, write the best book you can write.


What do you think about self-publishing–is it something you would consider?

Or do you think it’s best to find an agent and a traditional publisher–and why??