The Nuts & Bolts of Memoir
Online Class Fee: $630
This comprehensive, nine-week course introduces students to the fundamentals of personal narrative and the craft of shaping life experience into vivid, unforgettable stories. You will be guided through the memoir-writing process step by step, exploring the questions we all face on this path of creative self-discovery. How do we frame our life stories? Where do we begin and where do we end? What emotional or spiritual quest drives your memoir? What is the meaning of your story, and how do you elevate subjective experience to encompass the mythic and universal? What is your responsibility to living persons when telling a personal story? And so on.
Designed for writers of all levels, this popular course has proved highly effective in helping inspiring memoirists achieve their creative goals, whether for publication or individual interest. Exploring your personal story – peeling back the layers to unveil the truth – is also a path to self-discovery; providing insight that proves beneficial off the page as well as on it. In my experience, when you tell the truth, your story changes. And when your story changes, your life is transformed.
Things You Will Learn In The Nuts & Bolts of Memoir:
• How to utilize the language of emotion
• How to identify the central question driving your story
• How to distinguish situation from story
• Why fearlessness, shamelessness, and recklessness are critical to writing a first draft
• How to write about people in our lives without violating their anonymity
• How to organize the moments of our story into a coherent whole
• How even painful experience can be illuminated and redeemed through memoir
Please join us for this annual favorite if you’re ready to put your story to paper.
Online Class Fee: $630
(Early registration fee: $570 – Register on or before February 26)
How the online classes work
In the week prior to the start of the class, you will receive an invitation to join the Google Group for the class where all assignments, individual work and Mark’s weekly comments will be posted. Using Google Groups allows the class to read, comment and support each other’s work in a positive and nurturing environment.
Each Monday, for the duration of the class, a new lesson will be posted to the Google Group. Students post their work to the Group by the following Saturday evening. Assignments should be no more than 1,000 words.
On Sunday, Mark responds to each student, commenting and giving notes on their writing and progress. Students are invited to correspond with Mark privately about their writing process or work they prefer to not to share with the Group.
Two webinars are held during the session to provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and discuss their work. These will be scheduled once the class begins.
Here’s what former students have to say about working with Mark:
“Brace yourself if you work with Mark! You might have to leave your comfort zone and learn more about yourself than you had expected. The assignments are like roadmaps leading you to where you need to go. And then, when you have worked through them and you think you have come up with all the wisdom you were able to find deep within yourself, Mark will come up with more questions for you in his response and you will get to dig even deeper. I think this is the greatest gift Mark offers. He LISTENS. I mean, he really listens. And he gets is. He knows just when and how to ask the questions that will crack you open! Can’t wait for the next class!”
~Saskia Nienna Steidel, Germany
“Mark is an insightful teacher whose skill with the written word is outmatched only by his skill with the human soul. I did not know him before this course, but the feedback I received was more like something from an old dear friend – clear, kind and direct. His ability to see into the heart of the story and the emotions behind it were uncanny I could not recommend it highly enough.”
~Pascale Kavanaugh, engineer
“Mark has a laser beam like ability to identify the core of what you’re writing about, or where you’re writing from, and shines his light to encourage you to go there. He inspires you to go beneath the surface and tell the truest story that your heart yearns to express.”
~Jifa Wind, architect