Memoir is Accessible to All
As a part of my Wallowa County Writer-in-Residence duties, I get to teach two adult writing workshops for Fishtrap. Any of my blog readers who aren’t local are welcome to take the first workshop via correspondence, by emailing me for further details. In person or via email, both workshops are affordable.
The first workshop, “Writing the Memoir,” will explore this particular form of personal storytelling. I’ll help participants apply narrative techniques to the writing of their own true stories, stories that everyone has—family traditions, difficult relationships, incidents of surprise or loss, travel experiences—which the basic tools of good old-fashioned storytelling can help bring to light. The workshop will meet for three consecutive Monday evenings beginning February 28 and continuing March 7 and 14. All sessions will run from 7 to 9 pm. The cost is $50, with a sliding scale in effect for those on a fixed or limited incomes. Call Fisthrap at 541-426-3623 to register.
I believe this class will be helpful to anyone even slightly curious about what memoir is and how it differs from autobiography. We’ll discuss the freedoms and the challenges of writing about our own lives, then do an extended guided prompt called “memory mapping” that, in my experience, has never failed to produce emotionally and culturally rich material for each participant.
A lot of people have stories to tell but they’re not sure where to start or—even more common—they’re not sure how to end. But writing memoir doesn’t have to mean writing an entire book. There is just as much value in learning to write one well-crafted scene or chapter as there is in writing a book-length manuscript.
Writing and sharing one’s writing in a group also has unique benefits. We’ll get to see how other writers choose to shape their memories and learning about the craft questions they’re up against. This can be both enlightening and reassuring.
I look forward to meeting new adult writers, hearing their stories, and helping them turn personal stories into writing that can resonate across a broader context.