|Writing the Memoir: Extended Workshops|
|Memoir Writing Workshops|
An extended workshop (weekend or weeklong) begins with the following description.
Many of us have lived fascinating lives whether inwardly or outwardly, during childhood long ago or as adults in the last decade. But when it comes to writing a memoir, where do we begin? The day of our birth? The day we left home? The beginning or end of a relationship? Memoir is most successful when it is not the “story of a life,” but a focused part of that life—a dozen summers spent working on a grandfather’s farm; a long relationship with a dying relative; the first year of law school.
In “Writing the Memoir,” we discuss how to choose a subject, plan, focus, and begin a memoir. What makes for good subjects in memoirs? Examples include a relational memoir, one focused on mother and daughter or father and son; a memoir of passionate interest, a love of reading or mountaineering; a memoir of a phase or era, time spent in Mexico, a divorce, the death of a favorite uncle. We also explore the differences between autobiography and memoir and address the idea of self-disclosure.
There is time for multiple writing exercises in recalling people, places, and events, readings from published memoirs, discussion of the tension between emotional and factual truth, ideas about truth-telling for memoirists, one-on-one sharing and critique, and advice on publishing. The goal will be to draft the material for the first chapter or for a section of a memoir.