Whether your story is for family or something with appeal to a wider readership, learn what it takes to write memoir that delivers something memorable. I offer six-week classes for beginning memoir writers and personalized help, structure, and support for more experienced writers.
The Six Essentials that Turn Truth to Art
The best memoir uses the same storytelling techniques as fiction — convincing characters, believable dialog, vivid scenes, descriptive details. Publishable memoirs also have a clear theme and narrative arc. I teach the craft of memoir and provide the structure, support, and inspiration to keep you productive.
Writing memoir is different from journaling, where we describe or explore whatever we are feeling or want to chronicle as it occurs to us. It’s about self-expression. Writing a story about a life experience means that we have to create a shape for it, define the focus. The exploration and expression happens as truth becomes art.
On Saturday mornings I email you the week’s lesson. These are info-packed, with great examples from published memoirs and writing exercises you can use to practice what you’ve learned.
For added value, get critique on your writing (up to 2,000 words per week). Email your writings up to seven days after receipt of the lesson and receive my detailed feedback within 72 hours.
Week 1: Scope (the outline for your book or stories series)
Week 2: Description (including shaping a story, which details?)
Week 3: Integrate Narrative and Scene
Week 4: Write Believable Dialog
Week 5: Create Convincing Characters
Week 6: Handling the Truth: Issues and Strategies
Six weekly modules $195 | with weekly critique on your writings $495
Contact me to enroll! PayPal and Cashier’s Checks Accepted
This program gives graduates of The Essentials or experienced writers the structure of due dates and regular feedback on your work as you write on memoir topics of your choice. You’ll submit writings of up to 2,000 words by email once a week. I return your writing with critique about its strengths and areas for improvement within 48 hours.
The depth of critique on each piece is up to you. Some writers prefer to use the course to inspire them to write more and make them accountable to a writing schedule; others want detailed written critique.
The program begins with your brief introduction to me by email, summarizing your project and your goals. Your first writing is due 1 week after your start date. Example: If your program dates are Saturday, Jan 25 – Saturday, Feb 22 , your first due date will be Saturday, Feb 1. Time involved? The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it, but no matter what, you’ll learn and grow as a writer.
- Start the first Saturday of any month — you choose
- $300 | 4 Sessions
Contact me to enroll! PayPal and Cashier’s Checks Accepted
NEW IN 2014!
3-Month Memoir Mentoring Program
Too busy to write and send your writing for feedback weekly? Here’s your chance to get your memoir written, with guidance, with goal dates of every two weeks. Choose your month and we’ll start on the first Monday of it.
How does it work? I provide you with a calendar of due dates when we begin. Your writings of up to 2,000 words are emailed to me every two weeks, with feedback on them emailed to you within 72 hours of receipt.
What do you get? Besides valuable instruction in key aspects of memoir craft emailed in the biweekly lessons, I give feedback on your use of craft in your writings and guidance on what’s working well and what you can develop or improve.
What will you write about? I supply writing topic suggestions from your outline, or you write from your topics list in any order you like, applying what you learn as your skills build with each module.
Here’s a sample of the mentoring program.
Lesson 1. Creating Your Book’s Shape – Write or Fine-Tune Your Outline
Lesson 2. Scenes and Narrative: The Essential Weaving
Lesson 3. Writing Believable Dialog
Lesson 4. Give Your Stories Life! Using Descriptive Detail
Lesson 5. Creating Convincing Characters
Lesson 6. Issues of Truth
$450 | Add 15-minute Skype or phone calls for only $25 per session (can be paid ahead or monthly)
6-Month Memoir Mentoring Program: $825
Get twice the time in the program, and save $75! The first three months are devoted to learning craft and writing, the second three months are devoted to your writing, with emailed written feedback.
Write Your Book in Just 10 Months!
Ready to write a memoir or other book of nonfiction and need help moving from start to finish and producing a compelling, complete book? In ten months you can have the first draft finished and ready to refine. With monthly writing goals of 6,000 words (approximately 1,000 to 1,500 words per week) emailed to me for review (not editing — that’s next, after this creation draft), you’ll get a complete draft written (60,000 words) and be on your way to the next step toward publishing. Optional monthly 30-minute Skype calls or phone calls for questions and discussion are an added benefit of the program. Monthly payment plans are available. For more information, contact me.
Contact me to enroll! PayPal or checks accepted.
Start making real progress.
Suzanne is a sensitive and acutely knowledgeable instructor and published writer. Hundreds have benefited by her tutelage, and I have been one for many years. During this time she expertly guided me while I wrote Among the Silent Giants was published in 2012 thanks to Suzanne’s careful coaching and it won top honorable mention at the 2013 Los Angeles Book Festival and other awards. — Sharon Porter Moxley/Author
I was struck by Suzanne’s thorough approach. She is incredibly bright and talented. She has an academic yet sensitive approach that leaves her students well-grounded in the genre. I highly recommend Suzanne to anyone who needs an editor or wants to learn more about memoir writing. — Frances Caballo, Social Media Strategist/Author
Whenever my interest lagged and I wanted to give up, Suzanne urged me on. When my confidence was low, she boosted it up. When writers’ block stalled me, she found a way to get me going again. When I struggled to find just the right word, Suzanne made suggestions. I recently signed a contract to have my cookies book made into a phone app and I can truthfully say that I wouldn’t and couldn’t have done it without Suzanne. — Norma Borelli