ClassWriting Memoir: Tools, Tips, and Inspiration from Best Sellers
What craft lessons can be found in best-selling memoirs? Learn how to best tell your life’s story by exploring techniques used in Inheritance (Dani Shapiro) and Men We Reaped (Jesmyn Ward). We'll discover real-life solutions to problems memoirists face by evaluating where these memoirs excel and where they fall short. We'll learn how to include what’s already captured in journals and find out how to develop and write about the people and essential events of your life, even if you don’t remember them well anymore.
Together we’ll explore techniques used to write powerful dialogue without having recordings of life’s most important conversations. From these acclaimed memoirs and class discussion, discover how best to frame a narrative, how to determine where to begin and where to end, what to keep in and what to leave out. Get guidance needed on including family secrets––and whether to mention them at all.
In-class writing exercises are designed to help students work through the challenges particular to their stories and to reveal strengths within their narrative. In class we will focus on pages 1–19 of each book as well as pages 96–98 and175–179 of Inheritance and pages 92–96 and the table of contents of Men We Reaped. Please read these excerpts for our class meeting.
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 email@example.com or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.