Writing a memoir after the age of 50 can be a great way to take stock, whether you’re writing to get published, leave a record for your friends and family, or simply clarify the past for your own edification.
Unlike novels, short stories and poems, the memoir requires a writer to stick to the truth, the actual sequence of events as they happened, the hard facts and figures of their lives. But memoir writers, just like the authors of those more freewheeling genres, still need a strong narrator and compelling narrative technique.
This six-week online workshop is open to all writers over the age of 50 who are interested in writing their memoir. Each week we’ll do close readings of memoirs written by writers over 50, spanning a wide range of narrators and narrative approaches. Then you’ll try these narrative approaches with your own material, broadening your mastery of the memoir form and discovering new ways to present the facts of your life.
All the readings and exercises will be provided in the online classroom. You will write a short weekly exercise and provide feedback to your fellow writers. Everyone will receive regular critiques from the teacher. In the final week, you’ll have a chance to revise or continue one of the exercises. Each week there will also be an optional one-hour Google Meet video chat for discussing writing and asking questions of the teacher.
This workshop is being taught by Peggy Stone, a writer who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction and memoir. She is currently writing a memoir focused on intergenerational trauma, loss, and redemption.