August 21, 2018

Manifesting Your Idea into a Memoir

I had the privilege of seeing Elizabeth Gilbert’s keynote address at the Wake-Up Festival this August 2014. Although Liz is most famous for her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, she told the audience that her true and original love was fiction. Dani Shapiro wrote this month in the New Yorker that she is an accidental memoirist, and although Liz didn’t frame it exactly this way, it’s clear that she is too. It’s not uncommon for writers to be visited, or haunted, by a story that will not let them go. … [Read more...]

Your Scene-writing Toolkit

It happens in each of our long courses that I hit a point where I realize how much writers really shoulder when it comes to writing a memoir. There are so many things to hold in addition to the memories, messages from our saboteurs, and bouts of self-doubt. Most writers who are working on a memoir are learning a new craft while also dealing with the wellspring of emotion that comes from tapping into experiences that can oftentimes feel like stirring a hornet’s nest. Sometimes it’s hard to keep … [Read more...]

Memoir Categories

This is a list that Linda Joy and I put together for our class. Please feel free to add categories and ideas we might have missed. We mostly want to have a record of this on our site! Childhood, Adolescent, and Coming of Age Memoirs • Family dynamics, dysfunction, drama • Unique childhood experiences/growing up stories • School days Examples of this type of memoir include: Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs; Jesus Land, by Julia Scheeres; I’m Down, by Mishna Wolff; Funny in Farsi, … [Read more...]