Rare 1828 Journal: A Mini-Memoir of Danger and Death

Journal title page
Volunteer Mike Marsh was boxing contributed books in the fall of 2014 for Friends of the Library, Springfield, Missouri, when he spotted a five-by-seven-inch, brown-leather volume with no title or design on the cover. Front and back were faded, scraped and scarred, with patches of leather missing, as though tossed about or shelved or read dozens of times. Pages were neatly penned, and edges of some were darkened with bits missing.   

“Jane, look at this. I think it’s unusual,” he said to Jane McWilliams, who is in charge of special books for the Friends’ semi-annual sales events. 

This was on the title page: “A Voyage from England to the United States of America April &

Doling Park History Project Wants Your Memories

Gail Mitchell, Doling Park historian
Doling Park has been a cultural and societal landmark in Springfield, Missouri, for more than 130 years. Gail Mitchell’s family members owned some of the park rides when it was a celebrated amusement center. Her sister-in-law, June Roberts, played the organ at the skating rink.

“I took my children without having to pay the twenty-five cents per ride,” Gail says.

The park had a reputation for bringing lovers together.

The Teacher Who Changed My Life: A Mini-Memoir

Samantha White
By Samantha White

They say people are like seasons. They enter and exit your life with a certain purpose and then move on to make room for others. This is quite true and particularly relevant for the teachers in one’s life.

I have had countless teachers in my life. Some good, some not so good. Some concerned about my well-being and development and others who couldn’t care less. There is one that

Top of the Food Chain: The Art of Memoir


Book Review: The Art of Memoir 
Mary Karr
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2015 Hardcover, 256 pages with appendix

In her opening words, Mary Karr waves a yellow flag to signal this is not just another how-to book.

“No one elected me the boss of memoir. I speak for no one but myself. Every writer worth her salt is sui generis [unique]. Memoirists’ methods—with regard to handling

Greenhorn Driver in a Ford Truck: A Mini-Memoir

By Wayne Warner

After I graduated in 1951 from Mohawk High School, Marcola, Oregon, about 20 miles east of Eugene, I was thrown into the world of the unemployed. It was a summer of change, not only in Oregon but also in the country, as America was bogged down in the Korean War.  

Some family members had worked for Manerud-Huntington Fuel Company in Eugene, so I met foreman

How to Write a Memoir: 6 Creative Ways to Tell a Powerful Story

M. Shannon Hernandez
By M. Shannon Hernandez
Originally posted on The Write Life. Re-posted with permission.

Whether you curl up with memoirs on a frequent basis or pick one up every now and again, you know powerful memoirs have the capacity to take you, as a reader, for an exhilarating ride.

I’m a connoisseur of memoirs. In the past seven years, I might have read three books that weren’t part of the memoir genre. Not only

Your Memoir Needs an Outstanding Subtitle

By Linda K. Thomas
Linda K. Thomas

Originally posted at Spiritual Memoirs 101. Re-posted by permission.

Have you noticed that we seldom find a subtitle on a novel? It seems that subtitles belong to the realm of non-fiction—and what a gift someone gave us when he or she invented subtitles. (A subtitle follows a title, and the two are separated by a colon.)

Your memoir’s subtitle can help accomplish your