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Telling Our Stories: Writing Memoir


In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says "good writing is about telling the truth...[but] telling the truth in an interesting way turns out to be as pleasurable as bathing a cat." Join us to learn more about the art of writing (and living) by sharing stories through the literary form memoir – no cat-bathing! We’ll read and analyze various writing styles of published memoirs to determine how these individual techniques contributed to the authenticity and enjoyment of the stories. Students may begin to write their own memoirs utilizing class workshops and peer review for revision purposes.


Throughout the course, participants will be involved in the following:

  • Reading published memoirs by an array of writers with different styles;
  • Examining the styles and form used by the writers to tell their stories;
  • Analyzing various writing styles to understand how the different techniques created the authenticity and enjoyment of those stories;
  • Conducting an analysis of how perspective can shape truth;
  • Beginning to write our own memoir;
  • Participating in class workshops and peer review to revise our memoir.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Describe the literary form memoir
  • Examine the range of writing styles used in published memoirs
  • Explore and identify possible themes for writing memoir
  • Practice writing memoir
  • Give and receive constructive feedback in a workshop setting
  • Revise writing based on constructive feedback

Dates: Oct 3, 2018 - Nov 14, 2018 Time: 7:00 PM
Tuition: $425.00 Instructor: Jennifer Lentz Register

Lesson 1: What is Memoir?
  • Identify and understand the literary genre memoir
  • “Who cares?” and other thoughts on getting started
  • Discussion of published memoirs
  • Getting to know you

Lesson 2: Finding Form and Trying to Understand “Truth” in Writing
  • Exploring various forms used by published writers in their memoir
  • Reading and discussing parts of memoir to demonstrate various acceptable forms to use in writing memoir
  • Discussing truth and perspective
  • Beginning to write: the writing process

Lesson 3: Writing Styles: Finding your Voice
  • Using your senses
  • Moving around in time
  • Scene, summary and musing

Lesson 4: Naming Names: Writing and the Law
  • Writing about living people
  • Courtesies and requirements

Lesson 5: Revise, Revise, Revise
  • Workshopping your work
  • Peer Review Process

Lesson 6: Your Memoir and the World
  • Putting it all in context
  • Wrapping up

Class Schedule

Date Times Meeting Type Location
10/03/2018 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Classroom Executive Park
10/10/2018 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Classroom Executive Park
10/17/2018 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Classroom Executive Park
10/24/2018 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Classroom Executive Park
11/07/2018 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Classroom Executive Park
11/14/2018 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Classroom Executive Park

Additional Information

Final Enrollment: Oct 3, 2018
Clock Hours: 12.0