Interlochen College: Memoir Course Day 1

With a blaze of sound and color, the students of the 86th season of Interlochen Arts Camp have departed and summer is trickling to a close. Thousands of faculty, staff, and campers have left in the past 48 hours…while a small handful of very lucky continuing education adults are making their way north along patchy two-lane highways, ready to create. I can almost feel Green Lake township breathing–sending another hundred folks away with each exhale, then inhaling a few dozen more in their place.

By tonight, the campus will have transformed yet again, with dorms and cabins vacated but the hotel, cottages, and lodges full. High school marching band and choral students from around the country gather this week for professional-level instruction, while I’ll be heading a tiny ship of 16 adult writers in my classroom for Interlochen College of Creative Arts. (If you’ve ever wanted to try college again, or for the first time, and if you’ve also longed for a comfortable living-style camp experience, ICCA offers the perfect combination–according to The Wall Street Journal.)

It’s always a bittersweet time for me. I’m excited that summer is coming to an end and I’ll get to return home soon. But as I walk the pathways of campus, the movements of my summer pals are suddenly echoes. Each has gone his or her own direction, and none of us ever know for sure if we’ll return next summer. How wonderful, to have learned from them for the past six weeks, and to know that at least for a little while, the land between the lakes held our creativity together for laughter, insight, and conversation.

If’ you’re interested in memoir or manuscript critique, you might follow along this week with my course schedule or consider contacting me about monthly writing coaching and instruction. I’ve listed the reading materials for each day online, and many can be found in Google Books as an excerpt. The prompts I created aren’t in the public domain, but perhaps you’ll see their titles and feel encouraged to try writing something along with us anyway, even from afar.

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