All About My Life: Structuring Memoir Through a Single Category


In this fun weekend workshop, we'll write our life stories through one single category of objects or experiences. All about my life according to...the shoes I wore, the houses I lived in, or the cars I drove. My life told through my most important conversations or the photographs I wish had been taken but never were. My life through the books that shaped the way I think. Or my life via art objects, hats, movies, sports events, gardens, video games, people I will never see again, favorite walks, songs, or quilts sewed. You know what has mattered to you over time. But remember, you can only pick one!

It's so much easier to write a memoir (or call it a series of linked personal essays) when you have a structure to work with. This simple unifying structure conveys the passage of time while its draconian limitations free you to leave out all those extraneous details that bedevil the memoir writer and swamp the reader. (Although you'll be surprised at how much deeper meaning you can sneak in if you work at it.)

All writers, from the most beginning to the most experienced, are welcome as long as they're willing to experiment. A bonus gold star if you don't take yourself or this project too seriously. You'll leave this quirky workshop with a basic understanding of structure, a project underway, and a simple plan for completing it.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through exercises and assignments; provide limited feedback on work produced during the workshop.

Carol Spindel photo
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