“Don’t forget—no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” –Charles de Lint
We all have stories to tell. This workshop will focus on helping you find the “shape” of your stories through reading, in-class exercises, and writers’ workshopping. We will learn new approaches to writing memoir and try our hand at using these new techniques in our own work.
The contemporary memoir is a genre filled with diverse voices and dynamic approaches to storytelling. We will read essays and excerpts from contemporary writers: Mary Karr, Jesmyn Ward, Darin Strauss, Joan Didion, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Carrie Brownstein, Roxane Gay, Deb Olin Unferth, and others.
Each class will be a mixture of discussing a contemporary memoirist or craft element, in-class writing exercises, and receiving structured feedback on our work from class participants. For writers new to memoir, you will end the class with a stronger knowledge of contemporary memoir, an expanded craft vocabulary, and new ways to approach writing memoir. Advanced writers will end the class with a deeper aesthetic sensibility, new approaches to drafting and revision, and a stronger sense of the trends in contemporary memoir.