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Discuss Memoirs

Life Writers Forum


Write Your Memoir

Four 120 minute sessions by phone
Homework and written discussion through an online group
Dates Feb 5, 19, March 4, 18, Sunday 5 PM EST (2 PM Pacific)
Maximum 9 Students
Cost: $200 (includes a copy of Learn to Write Your Memoir, or a credit of $12.00 if you already own it)

DESCRIPTION: This workshop teaches you to gather your memories into writing, and then organize your material into a story. The lessons start from the beginning,and show you the first steps to engage with your memories. Using these techniques you will start your memoir, and then develop a roadmap to find the beginning, middle, and end. If you have already started researching or drafting your memoir, the workshop will help you go deeper, clarifying your story, and sharpening its impact. Workshop leader Jerry Waxler M.S. will guide you through rough spots, help you overcome obstacles, and generate a vision of your story that will energize you while writing it and energize your readers when reading it.

Through handouts, discussion, home assignments, and email discussion we’ll apply techniques to help you translate your memories into one or more stories. Here are some of the topics we’ll address:

  • How to pull vignettes out of the pile of memories.
  • The crucial role of free-writing.
  • Use chronology to organize your memories.
  • Define "story" and learn how you can shape your memories into this structure.
  • Find structure, in time, character arc, and emotional theme.
  • The relationship between truth and memory.
  • How to cope with painful or awkward memories
  • How to make written recollections lively and readable.

INSTRUCTOR: Jerry Waxler, M.S is a therapist, speaker, and memoir coach who specializes in the issues facing writers. He is the author of "Learn to Write your Memoir in Four Weeks," and “Four Elements for Writers, how to get beyond “yes-but,” conquer self-doubt and inertia, and achieve your writing goals.” He speaks about these issues at writing conferences and groups in person and online. Jerry writes essays about memoirs and teaches writing at Northampton Community College. He is on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Writers Conference and an advisor to the National Association of Memoir Writers.