Writing memoir can be a gloriously sloppy endeavor. It can also be broken down into steps that make the task feel less daunting and more structured than an unstructured memory spill. This workshop will introduce an easy, eight-step sequence for starting a new work or strengthening a memoir-in-progress. From identifying story structure though inserting detail, description, and reflection, you'll learn the essential building blocks of memoir and put them all into practice.
We'll use a combination of writing prompts and short class exercises, discussions of published works, and workshops of student writing to help you shape a compelling story from the raw material of life. We'll spend focused time learning how to craft scenes, and we'll also talk about the ethical considerations memoirists face, including how to write about real people and handling sensitive material about ourselves and others. By the end of the course, you'll know much more about the ingredients of memoir, and about what readers want and expect from personal narratives. You'll also leave with roughly five pages of new work and ideas for drafting more.