THURSDAYS, JULY 8 — AUG. 26 | This class provides concrete help to the beginning memoir writer. We will explore and practice such craft elements as narrative distance, scene and summary, and the handling of time, as well as the challenges of writing about real people and our own lived experience, of placing our narrative in a wider context, and of examining our own motivations, perceptions, and insights.
Writing memoir draws upon all of us. We are the writer, the narrator, and the character living the events recounted. But which events, and how recounted? Many of us start with a specific period of time or relationship in mind; others memoirists travel over decades in pursuit of a thematic connection. The hardest part is deciding how to organize it all. Our stories rarely leap fully-formed to the page, however well we think we remember all the pieces.
Students will be expected to complete weekly short written assignments, one short self-contained memoir piece (5 pages), and one longer memoir piece (10-12 pages). We will use prompts in class (and as homework), and students will be expected to share their work in a supportive environment. In addition, there will be assigned weekly reading from Judith Barrington’s book, Writing the Memoir.
Memoir-writing is not for the faint of heart. If you’re committed to finding your story, and telling it as only you can tell it, please join us for 8 weeks of intensive exploration.
This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.
Lindsey Crittenden’s memoir writing has appeared in Best American Spiritual Writing, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Cimarron Review, Image, and many other publications. She is the author of the memoir The Water Will Hold You (which Publishers Weekly called “gorgeously written”) and has taught memoir-writing for more than 15 years.
Number of sessions: 8
Dates: Thursdays, July 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 12, 19, 26
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm Pacific Time
Course fee: $495