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

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Saturday
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Jul 8
Time: 9:00 am—3:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jul 1
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $255
Instructor(s): Monica Wesolowska
Limit: 21
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
9:00 am—3:00 pm (PT)
Jul 8
1 day
Refund Date
Jul 1
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Monica Wesolowska
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 Jo Ann Beard, Kiese Laymon, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Paul Auster. 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.

Author; Editor

Monica Wesolowska is the author of the memoir Holding Silvan: A Brief Life (named a Best Book of 2013 by The Boston Globe) as well as two children's books, Leo + Lea and Elbert in the Air. Her essays and short stories have been published in a wide variety of venues, including The New York Times. For almost two decades, she has taught creative writing and worked with clients as an independent editor.

Textbooks for this course:

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