This course has now passed but it is still possible to register and receive recordings of all four sessions as well as the corresponding handouts. To register, pay via the pink Pay Pal button below.
“What happened to the writer is not what matters; what matters is the large sense that the writer is able to make of what happened. For that, the power of a writing imagination is required. As V.S. Pritchett once said of the genre, ‘It’s all in the art. You get no credit for living.’”—Vivian Gornick, The Situation and the Story
Want to get serious about writing your memoir in the new year? Enroll in my January Memoir Essentials course, a four-class webinar focused on the fundamentals of memoir writing that also offers generative writing tasks designed to take you deeper into your story. We will discuss the essential elements of memoir writing—how to create scenes that move your story forward, how to use summary and reflection effectively, how to narrow your topic, and how to structure your narrative. This class will also include numerous material-generating activities that will help you hone in on the story you need to tell and develop the voice in which to tell it.
(You will receive a confirmation email with instructions for participating in the webinar after clicking the pink “Buy Now” link and making your payment via Pay Pal or credit card).
- First meeting: Introduction to the memoir genre; understanding story structure and how to develop your memoir’s narrative arc, narrator transformation and the hero’s journey.
- Second meeting: The three narrative modes of memoir: Scene, Summary, and Musing; the essentials of scene writing; the use of time in a memoir; how to write a scene that sizzles.
- Third meeting: Developing the emotional preoccupation of your memoir; creating a narrator and a narrative readers care about; developing the universal elements of your story.
- Fourth meeting: Finding your voice as a writer; letting your personality show up on the page; obsessions; special memberships; creating a narrator who serves as your story’s “central consciousness.”
How does it work? During our meetings, I will be giving lectures on the various memoir topics listed in the course outline above and fielding questions from you on these topics. I will also be guiding you through in-class memoir writing exercises and giving you optional assignments to work on outside of class. Each week you’ll read assigned readings from our texts and short writing assignments.
The logistics: Shortly after you enroll, you’ll be sent a confirmation email with a link to the register on our class’ GoToWebinar page. You will attend our class meetings over the phone or online through GoToWebinar.com. As long as you can dial in, you’ll be able to hear the class discussion. If you are online, you’ll also be able to see me and the class blackboard. If you miss a class (or want to listen to it again), the recordings with audio and the class blackboard will be available for you to listen to at your convenience.
What if I miss a meeting? The day after the class meeting, you’ll receive a link to a recording of the meeting, which you can listen to at anytime. The recording includes all the auditory aspects of the class and the Power Point slideshow that plays on the class blackboard.
What if I want to ask a question before I register? Email me at email@example.com.
Can I pay by check or money order? Yes, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
Who’s the instructor? Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a 2008 Top Pick for Reading Groups and as a Target “Breakout Book.” An award-winning instructor, Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006 and also teaches at Richard Hugo House in Seattle. She holds and MA in English Literature from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Washington. Nestor also produces events for writers such as the Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat, Bird by Bird & Beyond, and the Black Mesa Writers’ Intensive, featuring talks by literary leaders such as Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed, Julia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg. She lives in Seattle with her family and their cat, Rory. You can follow her on Facebook here and on Twitter @theopnestor. Read testimonials from coaching clients here.
When do we meet? Our class meetings will be consecutive Sundays: January 3, 10, 24, and 31 from 10am to 11:15 am Pacific Time.
How do I enroll? To enroll in the course, click on the “Buy Now” button for the course below to pay either through Pay Pal or with a credit card. After your payment has been received, you’ll receive a course confirmation with further instructions. If you prefer to pay by check or money order, email me at email@example.com.
Can I get a refund? Yes, until January 4th at 5pm Pacific Time (24 hours after our first meeting), your registration fee is 100 percent refundable. To get a refund, send a request for a refund to firstname.lastname@example.org. After January 4th, the webinar registration fee becomes non-refundable.
What have past participants said about the Memoir Essentials webinar:
“Theo was well organized and used great examples to illustrate her points. It was clear that she was passionate and very knowledgeable about the subject. Homework was manageable and inspiring.”
“Some of the things like developing your narrator’s voice, learning what your character’s flaw is, and defining special memberships and obsessions. Also really learned a lot about how to move the story forward.”
“The lectures provided suggestions to help organize my life experiences into a coherent, interesting memoir. Writer’s block was not as much of a problem for me as in the past, because I felt like I had a way to structure my thoughts.”
“Definitely would recommend to friends and already have because Theo is able to explain things very clearly. She demystifies the process of memoir writing. Even though I’ve published three personal essays, I felt I learned a lot from this webinar. Thanks, Theo!”