Free Class: How to Write Your Memoir or Life Story

Springfield-Greene County Libraries have closed all meeting rooms through December 31, 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis. See top of the library home page for updatesThe following applies when we resume classes:

I hope you will join me for my free monthly class, "How to Write Your Memoir or Life Story," for writers and writers-to-be. Bring a friend, and I invite you both to bring your partial manuscript, finished book, ideas, and enthusiasm. We will have a lively discussion on the best practices of writing your story. Handouts include my notes and a list of print and online resources.

What we cover
  • Differences among memoir, biography, and family  history.
  • Defining your motivation for writing.
  • Writing in your natural voice.
  • Gathering and organizing your stories.
  • Opening your stories with action to grab readers' attention.
  • Thinking of each episode as a scene in a movie.
  • Using dialogue to break up narrative and make characters interesting.
  • Writing about painful memories.
  • Reading life stories you enjoy and following their approaches.
  • Using memory joggers to focus on key events.
  • Free-writing without editing or censoring.
  • Enlisting a trusted friend to read your work and make suggestions.
  • Importance of editing your manuscript.
  • Publishing your manuscript.
Classes cover the same materials each month. The discussion dynamics change with the number of students, their diverse backgrounds, and where they are in their writing journeys. You are welcome to return any time to see what both of us have learned. See you there!

Class locations and dates
Classes are at the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Avenue, Springfield, Missouri. Map and library information. I'm also available to come to your town and present my class at your library, church, or community center for reimbursement of my expenses. Contact me

Under normal circumstances, we meet the first Saturday each month except holidays, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., except December, in the Harrison Room. Registration not required.