Create a Captivating Memoir (with Louise Nayer)

Louise Nayer




SUNDAYS, OCTOBER 21 — NOVEMBER 4  |  In this three-morning class, we’ll go over the basics of great memoir writing. How do you draw readers into your world using sensory detail–the sounds of the BART as it rushes through the tunnel, the smell of your childhood home, the taste of morning coffee? How do you write both summary and scene? How do you make your dialogue sound authentic? How do you deal with time shifts? How can you make your voice sing on the page? Excerpts from memoirs will be used for inspiration as well as Judith Barrington’s Memoir Writing. In-class exercises will hone skills and jump-start your writing. We’ll also discuss some of the ethical concerns of writing memoir and how to deal with emotional blocks. In the second and third class, students will bring work to share for constructive critiques in a comfortable environment. There will be plenty of time for questions. You’ll leave with a body of writing, some new writing friends, many handouts, and the inspiration and determination to keep to a writing schedule. All levels welcome! Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. 

Louise Nayer, M.F.A., winner of six California Arts Council grants, has taught creative writing for over 40 years. She has published five books, most recently Poised for Retirement: Moving from Anxiety to Zen. Burned: A Memoir was an O: the Oprah Magazine Great Read and won the Wisconsin Library Association Award. She has given readings of her work all over the country and has been interviewed on over forty radio stations including NPR.


Number of sessions: 3

Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Dates: Sundays, October 21, 28; November 4

Course fee: $215

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