Upcoming classes: Memoir

Meghan Flaherty

MONDAYS, JAN. 25 — MAR. 1 |  Use your lunch break to learn how to write (or perfect) your personal essay. Take the time out of the madness around you to focus your attention on what it is you have to say. In this class, we will read and discuss one master work per week (drawn from the work of Jo Ann Beard, Jesmyn Ward, Leslie Jamison, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Cathy Park Hong, Jia Tolentino, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Alexander Chee, Kiese Laymon, Joan Didion, and others), while working (and workshopping) towards a finished draft of our own.

This class will be held via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Meghan Flaherty is the author of Tango Lessons. She has an M.F.A. from Columbia University in literary nonfiction. Her essays and translations have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Iowa Review, Psychology Today, and online at the New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.


Number of sessions: 6


Date: Mondays, January 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1

Time: 12:00 – 1:30pm Pacific time

Course fee: $350

Meghan Ward

TUESDAYS, JAN. 26 — FEB. 23 | Are you feeling stuck or unmotivated to finish your novel, memoir, or short story collection? Are you a procrastinator? Are you easily distracted? Do you find yourself checking email, Facebook, and Instagram when you should be writing? You’re not alone!

This class is for all levels, from beginners who want to kickstart a writing habit to professionals who need some encouragement. Incorporating lessons from Charles Duhigg’s New York Times bestseller The Power of Habit and Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning, I will help you design a writing routine that works for you and give you the tools to stick with it. You will set goals, create a plan for achieving those goals, and then get to work. This class is a five-session online version of my in-person Writing Habit class, giving you more tools and more personalized attention throughout the 28 days we’ll be meeting. Through our online class portal, you’ll have the opportunity to download class materials, upload assignments, and receive daily support and encouragement throughout the process.

This is an asynchronous learning course; classes and materials will be available via the online platform Wet Ink.

Meghan Ward is the author of Runway: Confessions of a Not-So-Supermodel, a memoir about her misadventures as a fashion model in Europe and Japan in the early 90s. She is a freelance writer, book editor, and social media consultant, and she blogs about writing, editing, and publishing at Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, San Francisco Magazine, 7×7, Mutha, the San Francisco Chronicle, It’s So You: 35 Women Write About Personal Expression Through Fashion and Style, and Wake Up and Smell the Shit: Hilarious Travel Disasters. Follow her on Twitter @meghancward, on Facebook @meghanwardauthor, and on Instagram at meghancward.


Number of sessions: 5

Dates: Tuesdays, January 26; February 2, 9,16, 23

Time: Modules go live Tuesday mornings at 8:00am.

Course fee: $375

Lisa Lerner

TUESDAYS, JAN. 26 — MAR. 2  |  Personal essay writing is critical during the middle and high school years and especially for college admissions. But this type of writing goes well beyond school. In today’s world, it is becoming ever more important for us to be able to tell our own stories to get jobs, promote ideas, and effect change. It’s never too early to start exercising this important writing muscle!

In this workshop, we will learn how to choose topics, write a compelling hook and introduction, develop ideas through personal anecdotes and observations, and reflect on our experiences to create powerful conclusions. Even though these essays are memoir-type nonfiction, they use many of the same tools that make our fictional stories come alive. The workshop will feature mini craft lessons based on relevant mentor texts, lots of fun in-class writing, and the ability to submit pages and receive feedback. Note: Personal essay subject matter may include the discussion of sensitive topics.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner is the author of the crossover YA novel Just Like Beauty (FSG; a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, currently in development with Lars Von Trier as a movie shooting in 2021). For over 20 years, she has been writing numerous children’s stories for educational publishers such as Scholastic, McGraw Hill, and IXL. She is currently at work on her first full-length middle-grade novel that features talking bears and a very literate rat. You can find out more about her at


Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Tuesdays, January 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2

Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $180

THURSDAYS, FEB. 11 – FEB. 25  |  Save thousands of dollars hiring professional editors by learning to edit your own work! As a freelance book editor of 16 years, I see the same mistakes over and over in the manuscripts I edit. From exercises to improve your story arc, character development, dialogue, and description to tips for copyediting your completed manuscript, I’ll teach you how to turn your good manuscript into a great manuscript in this fun, interactive three-week online workshop.

This is an asynchronous learning course; classes and materials will be available through the online platform Wet Ink.

Meghan Ward is a writer, book editor, and founder of, a blog about writing, editing, and publishing. Her clients include novelists, memoirists, nonfiction authors, short story and personal essay writers, and PhD candidates. Throughout 16 years of editing experience, Meghan has developed a series of steps every writer can master to improve their stories, clean up their writing, and save thousands of dollars on freelance editors. Follow Meghan on Twitter @meghancward, on Facebook @meghanwardauthor and on Instagram at +meghancward.


Number of sessions: 3

Dates: Thursdays, February 11, 18, 25

Time: Classes are available from 8:00am, every Thursday

Course fee: $225

Rachel Howard

SATURDAY, FEB. 20 | Why do some memoirs take off from the first page, while others stall out before the end of chapter one? More importantly: How can you make sure the book you’re writing gets all the necessary gears lined up on those all-important first ten pages?

In this combination craft lecture and trouble-shooting workshop, you’ll learn the three Cs of narrative engine: Character, Conflict, and Clock. What’s clock, you say? Glad you asked. It’s a simple but elusive element that’s crucial to your story’s drive—but many memoir writers don’t realize their pages are missing it. Character and conflict are also more complex than they first appear. Drawing from the teachings of novelist David Haynes and Lisa Cron’s excellent book Wired for Story, this class will demystify all three Cs, then lead you through exercises and instructor feedback to identify Character, Conflict, and Clock in your narrative. Does your character have a compelling inner issue? Is your conflict harnessed to a theme that makes it meaningful? You’ll leave this class with the major story elements of your memoir clarified, and your narrative engine ready to rev.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Rachel Howard is the author of a novel, The Risk of Us, and a memoir about her father’s unsolved murder, The Lost Night. Her personal essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Gulf Coast, Waxwing, the Los Angeles Review of Books, O, The Oprah Magazine, Berfrois, The New York Times Draft series, and elsewhere. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Warren Wilson College, and later served there as interim director of undergraduate creative writing. She has also taught in the M.F.A. program of Saint Mary’s College. More on Rachel at


Number of sessions: 1

Date: Saturday, February 20

Time: 10:00 – 2:00pm Pacific time

Course fee: $95


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