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Writing the Memoir

Writing the Memoir


In this workshop, we will learn how to transform life into art by taking what may seem "personal" materials – the experiences of a
life, or lives – and shaping them aesthetically into narrative. "Everyone has a story that only they can tell," writer Susan Monsky once said, and this is particularly relevant in a workshop that focuses on memoir and storytelling. The excitement of memoir writing is to draw on the raw material of life and transform it into art by finding the story that emerges and creating a narrative voice to tell that story. In this workshop we will both encourage the emergence of writers' individual voices and work on the literary techniques (many of which are shared with fiction writers) that make memoir a literary genre – dialogue, scene creation, voice. No writing experience is necessary.

Course Instructor: Sharon O'Brien

Sharon O’Brien is a professor at Dickinson College in American Studies and creative writing, and she’s been teaching Memoir and Personal Essay for years, both at the undergraduate level and in workshops with adult learners. She is also the author of a biography of Willa Cather (published by Oxford University Press) and a family memoir (published by University of Chicago Press).

Registration required. Limited to 15 participants.

To register for a course or program (not all programs require registration; see individual descriptions for details) contact the Library's Information Services Department at 717-243-4642.

Bosler Memorial Library

Writing the Memoir