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You’ve already done the hard work for your memoir: you’ve lived it. This workshop will give you the confidence and tools to see it through. Combining in-group writing exercises with informal lectures on structure and craft, this eight-week session offers a safe, supportive environment to capture your story. The workshop is suitable for adults seeking to create a memoir for family and friends, to share with the world at large, or as a therapeutic process. No previous writing experience is required.


A memoir focuses on one aspect of life already experienced. This limited scope is available to all of us, which has helped make contemporary memoir one of today’s most read and exciting genres.

Weekly workshop sessions feature two components:

In-group exercises
Participants will take part in 2-3 writing exercises each week, with an emphasis on personal experience. This work is written and shared in a non-critical environment so you can experiment and explore ideas without expectation, judgment, or homework.

As with all Start Writing sessions, this workshop uses the AWA (Amherst Writers & Artists) method to ensure a safe, supportive workspace for all participants. You can read more about the AWA’s non-critical approach and benefits here.

Informal lectures
Each week will also feature an in-depth discussion on issues specific to memoir writing. Topics may include:

  • Structure and framing
  • Ethics and the privacy of others
  • Turning yourself into a character
  • Identifying and writing towards a specific audience
  • Differences between autobiography and memoir
  • Sharing your work with friends, family, and beyond

May Sarton said that “Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.” Your life is your research. This workshop will help you capture that experience in your own voice.