Learn how to write short pieces of memoir in this series of workshops held by Writer in Residence Annette Gendler at the Hemingway Birthplace.
Memoir is the genre of our time, and more and more people are tempted to write their own. Life is big, and thus we tend to think of writing memoir as a big project—a book project. However, writing a book is a daunting task, and so, quite often, writing memoir is never attempted, even though we all have stories to tell.
There is, however, another way: writing mini memoirs. Writers are more likely to find success by going small, by distilling one particular event into a short memoir. In fact, crafting a story from real life is best learned by focusing on one event. One well crafted scene can capture more of the mosaic of life than 25 pages of exposition. Furthermore, by going small, the structural challenges of a larger piece are avoided, and the chances of having a piece published are higher.
By studying a short memoir piece for inspiration, and learning the craft of writing in scene through guided exercises, participants in this series of workshops can expect to emerge with one complete jewel of a memoir. Each workshop will focus on a particular realm of memory, such as writing about a favorite smell or a meaningful place. This will show students how to engage the senses to create vivid writing while also bringing to life a pivotal memory that has universal appeal.
Classes meet 7-9:30 p.m. at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace, 339 N. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, Ill. February 11, 25 and March 11, 25. Fee: $200
Each student is expected to submit one piece of writing (maximum of ten pages) to the class for critique. Class fee includes reading materials. Class is limited to 12 students.
About the instructor: Annette Gendler writes literary nonfiction and has taught memoir writing at StoryStudio Chicago since 2006. She is currently writer-in-residence at the Hemingway Birthplace Home. Learn more about her at www.annettegendler.com