June 23, 2024


We offer two 1-month intro courses every spring and fall.

All of our classes are oriented toward helping you become a better memoirist. We focus on process and craft. We typically offer one course that focuses on the building blocks of memoir, and now we’ve launched a bestselling memoir series. We kicked it all off in 2013 with WILD, by Cheryl Strayed, and EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Liz Gilbert.

In 2014, we taught THE GLASS CASTLE, by Jeannette Walls, and ANGELA’S ASHES, by Frank McCourt. Our next pick is Mary Karr’s THE LIAR’S CLUB (spring 2015).


The Way It Works

All courses are webinars with a visual component. You always have access to the recordings if you have to miss a class.

Brooke and Linda Joy will each present the topics. There is a Q&A component to these courses, so student have an opportunity to interact with us.


Buy Classes from the Series

The mp3s and transcripts from our series are for sale generally within six months of the class being complete.





41qFdmnyvxL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

Tuesdays, 4 PM PST/7 PM EST April 22-May 13 PST

The Glass Castle is a memoir that stays with you. It’s a story many writers relate to, and an example of a transformational memoir that touched the hearts of readers everywhere. In this four-week course, we explore how to write hard and traumatic truths—and how to write through them. We also delve into the classic structure of this book, and why this memoir is not traditional coming-of-age story. Order the transcripts and mp3s here.


41yAKmVb7CL._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_The Formulaic Memoir: What Made Eat, Pray, Love a Bestseller

Eat, Pray, Love is a formulaic memoir that works. Elizabeth Gilbert structured her book around discovery across three cultures: pleasure (eating) in Italy; devotion (praying) in India; and a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence (loving) in Bali.  In this class you will learn the skills Gilbert brings to this classic bestselling memoir, and discover for yourself how to make your own memoir shine by employing these craft techniques into your own writing. Order the transcripts and mp3s here.


wildThe Craft of Memoir: Wild as a Guide to Becoming a Better Writer

Linda Joy and Brooke both fell in love with Cheryl Strayed’s Wild when we read it, and we immediately saw its value as a teaching tool for all of the skills the author brings to the memoir. Strayed uses what’s called a framed structure, meaning that she writes the story of her life, but uses her limited time on the Pacific Crest Trail as a means to contain her story. In this class we’ll showcase some of the things Strayed does brilliantly—structure, transitions, flashbacks vs. memory, and reflection—so that you can begin to use all of these skills in your own writing. Order the transcripts and mp3s here, and get a free taste of this class here.