Beyond the Memoir: Writing Personal, Creative Nonfiction (and Getting It Published)

Regular $70.00
Member $63.00
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Creative Nonfiction
Open to All Levels
Online—Live Meeting
Number of Sessions
Day of the Week
Single Session
Creative Nonfiction Graphic

Write what you know, they say. But it turns out that's harder than it looks, especially when the genre of memoir may have already passed its peak of popularity. However, memoir is only one of the ways to embed your own story in what you write.

In this class, we will explore memoir, but we'll also look at first-person narrative in journalism, essays, and even "auto-fiction" as methods to tell your story in writing. The goal of the class will be to discern how best to tell your story—in what genre, style, and voice. Texts read will include The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr and The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick. We will also consult the work of Jeff Sharlet, Jon Krakauer, Anne Lamott, Ben Lerner, David Carr, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. We will work under the premise that any good memoir, like a novel, needs a plot that builds to a climax and reaches some kind of resolution.

The class will consist of discussion with time for in-class writing and sharing of work (optional). The teaching artist will provide excerpts of the mentioned texts prior to the scheduled class time.

Instructions for Accessing This Online Class

In order to access live class meetings, you must have the Zoom application downloaded to your computer. You will also need a WiFi/Internet connection throughout the duration of your scheduled meeting and a computer with audio and video capability. The information to join your Zoom classroom will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration. Please check spam folders if you do not see this email upon registration. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.

Some classes use a supplemental Google Classroom page. Should your teaching artist use Google Classroom, you will be invited to join the classroom via email at least 24 hours in advance of your class (check spam folders if you are not seeing this invitation). Please note that Google Classroom requires a Gmail address to access the Classroom. If you do not have a Gmail account, the email invitation will be sent to the email address we have on file and will prompt you to create a free account or enter an existing account to join the classroom. If we are unable to send an email invitation to your non-gmail account, you will be contacted by a staff member to provide a Gmail address. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can create a free account here. Should you have concerns about this, please contact a Loft staff member at or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.