Finding Your Memoir
This hands-on workshop is designed for writers who are interested in sharing key elements of their life stories. In this full-day session we will discuss the structure of book-length memoir and key features of this genre including: finding your theme or through-line; dealing with internal and external conflict; telling the truth/writing about family; and structuring a memoir. We will do several short writing exercises in class focusing on the following–identifying potential turning points in your story; finding an opening hook or inciting incident; conveying emotional stakes; and playing with structure. We will also review short excerpts/examples from several published memoirs. Come prepared to write, and bring a brief one-two paragraph description of your project to share with the class. You’ll leave the session with a clearer sense of your through-line and theme; new tools to assist you in creating your book’s structure, and practical techniques to continue working on your project.
Judah Leblang is a Boston-based writer, teacher, and storyteller. He has performed his one-man show, “It’s Now or Never. My Life in the Late Middle Ages” at community centres and Fringe Festivals in the US and Canada, including Calgary (Best of Fringe, 2019). He is the author of two memoirs, Finding My Place (Lake Effect Press, 2012) and Echoes of Jerry (Red Giant Books, 2019). His essays and commentaries have been broadcast on public radio stations throughout the US, and on several Canadian stations. He teaches creative nonfiction at Grubstreet writing centre in Boston.