Writing Your Literary Memoir
Now Accepting Students!
Upcoming: Writing Your Literary Memoir
This class will be held in Winter 2023 (exact dates TBD).
Once upon a time, long before the Age of Oprah, writers who had lived through something fascinating or terrible or both would turn their experiences into fiction; nowadays, however, these stories equally take the form of creatively rendered memoirs—ruminative, retrospective narratives that comprise a sub-genre of the diverse and expansive genre we typically call creative nonfiction. What does this mean? It means, for one, that the artful rendering of personal narratives is increasingly considered valuable and, as luck would have it, marketable in the literary world. But what makes a memoir literary, how do these works best function, and how are they differentiated from autobiography, anecdotal prose, or simple recollection? Perhaps more importantly, considering the flood of memoir manuscripts on the market—the Neilson Bookscan reports a 400% increase published between 2004 and today—how can we elevate our own personal narratives into artful, meaningful work worthy of readership? In this class, we’ll study and discuss excerpts from some of the most successful and surprising literary memoirs on the market, discuss the elements that comprise a memorable literary memoir, and work to engage and understand the idea that memoir is less interested in the past than the act of remembering and identifying the many ways past selves continue to inform who we are in the present. Students will develop ideas, a conceptual framework, and key excerpts for their own memoir through in-class and take-home exercises. You’ll leave, in other words, with all you need to tell, and sell, your story.
This workshop is for writers of all backgrounds who feel they have a story to tell and are looking to develop new material while simultaneously exploring new ways to conceptualize and market a larger manuscript. Focus will be on generating entirely new material.
Rigorous study and discussion on recently published and innovative literary memoirs that represent evolving trends in the market
Analysis and creative implementation of dozens of literary techniques designed to make your memoir stand out
Weekly exercises and deadlines that hold you accountable as you conceptualize, draft, and develop new material
An intellectual, creative community of fellow motorists who can provide support and feedback on your book
Feedback, suggestions, and advice on how and where to submit your work for publication
The Fine Print:
This class is open to writers of all backgrounds and skill levels who have a larger true story to tell
Emphasis will be on generating new work and conceptualizing a full-length memoir manuscript
Writers accepted into this class must be supportive of their fellow classmates and eager to learn together
Class size is limited; students will be enrolled on a first-come, first-serve basis
Classes will meet on Zoom
Due to the small nature of this workshop, no refunds available