I’ve just opened registration for my fall Writers Grotto memoir class. Details below; check out the extensive lineup of classes in novel writing, short story writing, personal essay, travel writing and more at www.sfgrotto.org/classes.

Memoir II: Intermediate/Advanced Workshop
Instructor: Rachel Howard
Contact: rachel dot howard at gmail dot com
Number of sessions: 8
Meeting Times: Tuesday evenings, 6:30 pm to 9 pm; September 21 – November 9
Course fee: $475

This weekly combination seminar and workshop provides ongoing craft discussion, support, and critique for committed memoir writers. During the opening portion of each class we’ll look at published memoirs, with an eye to guide and inspire your own writing. What is your story really about, and how can your evolving understanding power the writing process? How can you keep opening up parts of your story that might feel too hot to touch? We’ll balance an awareness of the emotional process behind memoir writing with the study of practical techniques, talking about building tone and style, finding short and long lines of tension, and thinking about theme to discover new layers of meaning that can shape your larger work.

Then we’ll turn to your workshop submissions, aiming to reflect back to the writer what has been communicated, and to describe the further opportunities we see. We’ll point to strengths, and offer ideas for substantive revision in a thoughtful environment. Every writer in the class will have the opportunity to submit to workshop twice during our eight weeks together. Ultimately this class will help you gain greater perspective on your work by listening to others. But my deeper goal is to help you build a strong personal writing sensibility by encouraging you–amidst the flurry of feedback–to listen foremost to yourself.

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