Program Details

Memory to Memoir

Open to writers of all experience levels; no formal university admission is required for our Memory to Memoir program.

Class size is limited in order to provide each writer with a high level of feedback and response.

Each quarter will include prompts to spark writing and insight, exercises to develop narrative voice and broaden the writer’s palette of possibility, and readings from selected modern memoirs as we look at various ways to tell personal stories.

Fall Term:
Ignition: Memory Sparking Imagination

Location:
Building and room to be determined, Western's campus (map/directions)

Description:
Every memoir begins with a collection of memories – places, people, events–that are powerful, but sometimes random and unconnected. We begin with many prompts to spark the ignition between memory and imagination to develop a narrative voice. Memoirs preserve the past in a narrative structure, and these short pieces provide the framework for longer works. Students will learn to both read and write creatively and expand their editorial skills.

Winter Term:
Development: Giving Narrative Voice to the Past

Location:
Building and room to be determined, Western's campus (map/directions)

Description:
Using new prompts and exercises, we will expand the short memoirs and develop new pieces. Winter term will broaden your work with narrative voice and structure to include central elements of literary expression: scenic depiction, dialogue, detail and the dramatic arc. As you write more deeply, you broaden your perspective on the past and deepen your portrayal of time, place and character.

Prerequisite:
Ignition: Memory Sparking Imagination or instructor permission

Spring Term:
Expand and Edit: Structuring the Past for the Page and Presentation

Location:
Building and room to be determined, Western's campus (map/directions)

Description:

By the third term, you will have created many pages of work; you will have practiced editing techniques gauged to strengthen presentation of your past and you will have a clear sense of your own narrative voice. In the spring, we will build on these skills to enhancing your work. We will hone and polish pieces with an eye to detail. We will refine selections to a high editorial gloss for a reading at Village Books.

Prerequisite:
Ignition: Memory Sparking Imagination and/or Development: Giving Narrative Voice to the Past.

 

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Page Updated 06.12.2014