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WSP 91 — How to Start Your Story: A Memoir Workshop

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Saturday
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Apr 17
Time: 9:00 am—3:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 10
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $220
Instructor(s): Monica Wesolowska
Limit: 24
Status: Open
Please Note: This course includes a one hour lunch break.
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
9:00 am—3:00 pm (PT)
Apr 17
1 day
Refund Date
Apr 10
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Monica Wesolowska
Please Note: This course includes a one hour lunch break.
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Whether you have attempted to write memoir before or not, this course is designed to give you a fresh start. Brain researchers tell us that memories aren’t stored intact but get “rewritten” each time we remember them. What does this mean for your story? Is it possible to include something you can’t quite remember? Can you write your own version of someone else’s story? We will start this workshop exploring how memory works and what that means for us as writers. We will work to dispel any critical voices that may prevent you from writing fully about your own life. From there, we will get practical, discussing the components necessary to draw a reader into a memoir, such as setting, character, and theme. Moving on to the issue of voice, we will read a variety of excerpts from such writers as Maxine Hong Kingston, Isabel Allende, Paul Auster, and James Baldwin. You will have an opportunity to share your own story and experiment with starting it from a fresh perspective. There are innumerable ways to tell a story, and by the end of the workshop, you should have a fresh start for your own story and the inspiration to keep it going.

This course will not be recorded.

Monica Wesolowska, Author; Editor

Monica Wesolowska is the author of the memoir Holding Silvan: A Brief Life, which was named a Best Book of 2013 by The Boston Globe. She has published short fiction and nonfiction in many venues including The New York Times, and has a children’s picture book forthcoming. A former fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, she has taught at UC Berkeley Extension since 2002 and is an independent editor.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.