This 3-part memoir series walks participants through the building blocks of memoir. It can be taken as a series, or–with facilitator approval–as individual pieces.
PART ONE: LAYING THE FOUNDATION
Do you have a personal story to tell, but want to know more on how to distill the most important parts into a compelling tale? In this class we will examine contemporary pieces in the memoir genre and help you learn how to identify what works in them. You’ll learn and discuss the basic tenets of the genre, reliability of memory, “truth”, and emotional veracity.
You will do a brief autobiographical sketch to help identify what slice of life you want to focus on for your memoir. Then you’ll sketch a basic story progression you can work from and compose a minimum of 10 pages of your memoir.
We’ll peer workshop at least one time with instructor feedback and suggestions for revision and continuation.
- Class 1: What’s Your Story? Introduction to memoir
- Class 2: Story Arc Plot and structure, Scenes/”camera eye”
- Class 3: (Re)Creating Dialogue The revision/editing process, Dialogue usage
- Class 4: Workshop Read and discuss student work
- Class 5: What Is Truth? Nonfiction ethics and the reliability of memory
- Class 6: To Be A Writer Revisions, Reading like a writer
About Building Your Memoir from the Ground Up Series
This 3-part memoir series walks participants through the building blocks of memoir. It can be taken as a series, or with facilitator approval as individual pieces.
- The first term (Fall 2019) provides an introduction to the genre and has students begin a memoir project.
- The second term (Winter 2020) offers a more in-depth look into aspects of memoir and uses workshopping and instructor feedback to start really shaping the form of the work.
- The third term (Spring 2020) is production-heavy, diving into the writing with an intent to complete a first draft.
The first term is suitable for beginning writers. The second and third terms are very writing intensive and participants should be prepared to devote several hours a week outside of class time to their writing.
About the Instructor
Bronwynn Dean holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goddard College. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Pitkin Review, Soundings Review, Sativa, Bang! Magazine and The Eugene Weekly. She teaches, tutors young writers, copyedits, and works at the local independent bookstore.