Category Archives: Memoirists

The Essays That Came Before the Book Deals

Writers worry about “giving the story away” before their book is out in the world. But publishing a personal essay about a related story can stir up interest in the memoirist’s larger narrative. And, that following you create as an essayist can pay off when you go to sell your memoir. “That following” is also known as a platform, an author’s existing audience for a particular story. (This is why writing/revising/submitting an essay to a target publication is a key part of my Platform Building 101 course). Writing essays also gives a writer a chance to develop a story and explore its themes before setting out to write (and rewrite) 300 pages. But perhaps the greatest benefit of those essays: Early reader enthusiasm that boosts writer confidence and wards off those thoughts of who’s gonna care anyways? that haunt each of us with a personal story to tell. Continue reading

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How to Write a Memoir Book Proposal (That Stands a Chance)

Learn how to write a memoir book proposal. Continue reading

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4 New Year’s Resolutions for Memoirists

Want to finish  your memoir this year? Here are four resolutions to help you create an enduring memoir that transforms your individual experience into a universal one that speaks to a wide readership. 1. This year I will make myself … Continue reading

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How to Keep on Writing that Freaking Book!

Question: When is 9 months “a year”? Answer: When the 9 months is spent in a manuscript class. I teach a memoir manuscript class here in Seattle at Hugo House. The class runs 9 months from September to June, and … Continue reading

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What I Learned About Life and Writing Onstage with Cheryl Strayed

A few weeks ago I did an onstage conversation with Cheryl Strayed here in Seattle about her new book, Brave Enough, a collection of quotes that yield up her trademark no-nonsense wisdom. The entire experience was a Dear Sugar Boot … Continue reading

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Join Me at Black Mesa Writers’ Intensive!

Hi Readers, When I was writing the book Writing Is My Drink, I kept three books stacked together on my desk: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, The Right to Write by Julia Cameron and Writing Down the Bones by … Continue reading

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Goodbye to All That: My Class of 2012/13 Moves On

Every June another group of my memoir students takes to the podium for our end-of-year reading.  It always amazes me how much progress they’ve made in their time in the Memoir certificate program through the UW’s Professional & Continuing Education … Continue reading

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Theo’s Summer Reading Recommendations

Interested in learning more about personal narrative and memoir? Here are some books you might want to read: Barrington, Judith. Writing the Memoir.Eighth Mountain Press, 2002. Goldberg, Natalie. Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir. Free Press, … Continue reading

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Where I’ve Been Lately

Hi Readers–if I still have readers–please, tell me I do, I loathe blog posts that begin with how guilty the blogger feels for a great absence from blogging–so I won’t fall into that trap here, but it has been a … Continue reading

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Candace Walsh Dishes on Licking the Spoon

It’s book launch week for my friend and writing ally Candace Walsh as her yummy, page- turning memoir, Licking the Spoon, hits bookstores everywhere. Many of you may know Candace’s work already; the brilliant essay collection Ask Me About My … Continue reading

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