Advanced Memoir Workshop description


So you are working on a memoir…

Writing your story authentically and allowing it to land on the page in the shape that it falls is integral to creating something true to you and to your story. When you write memory (especially traumatic memory) it’s to be expected that things will come out fragmented, blurry, and sometimes unclear. This doesn’t mean you do not have the material to compile your story, it means you need to tuck the template aside, worry about structure and piecing it together later … it means you need to write authentically.

When I wrote Dear Current Current Occupant, I went to the place that scared me the most. I found the one thing that punched me in the stomach and I wrote to that feeling, that memory, those wishes. The result was a story that was compiled in the way I remembered it. Read what The Toronto Star had to say about Dear Current Occupant. Read what others had to say, too!

In this intimate online workshop of six to eight serious memoirists personally selected by me, we will not only finish these memoirs, but we will learn what it means to write authentically, and how to do it. Check out what past students are saying about my various courses here.

Is this workshop right for you?
In addition to your application, you’ll need to meet the following prerequisites:

  • have a complete draft ready to workshop-5 pages at a time (or enough to work with to eventually compile a full manuscript)

  • experience in workshopping/critique

  • willingness and ability to give constructive feedback on other folks’ work (this is essential to the workshop format and will only enhance your work and skill as a writer).

Please note that not everyone who applies will be guaranteed a spot. The key to effective workshop: making sure I select folks who share the same goals and who understand and recognize what it takes to give and receive helpful and honest feedback. I am also looking to shape the group by making sure I select folks whom I think will work well together and be able to help each other inside and outside of workshop. If you have questions about this, please feel free to get in touch. People of colour are strongly encouraged to apply.

What does the workshop include? 2.5-hour biweekly workshops over the course of 5 months (day and time to decided by the group). We will meet online via Zoom.

Bi-weekly Workshops for fall 2020 start in October

Bi-weekly Workshops for spring 2020 start in April

Tuition: $1250 (payment plans available)

If your application is shortlisted, you will be asked to send 10 pages from your memoir-in-progress. If successful, you will receive your welcome email.

In addition to inviting three guest lecturers to present on grants, publishing, and craft, I will include lectures on:

  • Workshop etiquette, structure, and goal setting

  • Writing Authentically

  • Outlining your memoir

  • Community

  • Revision techniques

  • Digging for gold

  • bracketing/scaffolding

  • The Power of The Personal

  • Ripping Stitches: Breaking Form

  • Quick & Dirty Publishing 1

  • Lit mags vs Books

  • Quick & Dirty Publishing 2:

  • The Pitch: Why you and why now?

  • Quick & Dirty Publishing 3

  • Publisher Research: Who do you want to rep your work?

  • Final Portfolio Prep

  • One on One meetings

  • Final Online Q&A

Accepting applications for spring and fall 2020

Applications open year-round