Memoir Writing Workshops:

"Writing the Spiritual Memoir"


"Seven Types of Memoir"


"Writing the Memoir"

Thomas Larson has given two-hour, all-day, and weeklong workshops at bookstores, writing centers, libraries, writers' guilds, private groups, and universities for beginning and advanced memoirists throughout the United States.

From 2007 to 2019, venues include:

Cuyahoga Library, South Euclid Branch (Cleveland, OH)

Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference (Homer, AK)

Santa Fe Summer Workshop (Santa Fe, NM)

Hudson Valley Writers' Center (Sleepy Hollow, NY)

MFA Low-Residency Program (Ashland, OH)

The Writers' Center (Bethesda, MD)

The Writers' Workshoppe (Port Townsend, WA)

Warwick’s Bookstore (La Jolla, CA)

Ghost Ranch (Santa Fe, NM)

Ghost Ranch Fall Writing Festival (Abiquiu, NM)

St. Louis Writer’s Guild

Lancaster (PA) Literary Guild

Writers’ Center of Indiana (Indianapolis, IN)

Mobile Writers Guild (Mobile, AL)

Bookpeople (Austin, TX)

Houston (TX) Public Library

Palm Springs (CA) Public Library

Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA)

Margaret Mitchell House (Atlanta, GA)

OLLI Memoir Writers (Auburn, AL)

Clemente Program (Port Hadlock, WA)

Wordstock (Portland, OR)

Kansas City (MO) Public Library

Columbia (MO) Public Library

The Loft (Minneapolis, MN)

Worthington Library (Columbus, OH)


"Writing About Illness"

An Annotated List


Price: email me

The Narrative Elements of Memoir Print E-mail

The Narrative Elements of Memoir

First, some definitions. Memoir (or autobiography) contains stories about one’s life, usually on a very particular focus—a pivotal year after college; an affair and its aftermath; a relationship between mother and daughter. It’s impossible to write one’s whole life story; instead writers find a focus and then tell stories about people, events, or phases within that focus. Narrative refers to telling a story, the temporal sequence of how events are related to one another in time. Pacing is the technique by which we vary the passage of time, that is how slow or how fast we make the time pass dependent on the particular element of narrative writing we use, page by page.


In Autobiography: A Reader for Writers, Robert Lyons says that autobiographers and memoir writers choose from a spectrum of possible ways to represent the passage of time when writing about experience. The spectrum has two poles which are far removed from each other: “narratives that comment extensively on experience and narratives that present experience directly.” This is a good definition for our purposes here in discussing memoir and narrative time. It says basically that most memoir writers in order to tell about their experience must use narrative but they can use it in different, sometimes radically different, ways.

The rest of this essay is available as an eBook for $2.99.

What Exactly Happened: Four Essays on the Craft of Memoir.

The rest of this essay is availably on Kindle: What Exactly Happened: Four Essays on the Craft of Memoir, $2.99.