Purpose of the group: To remember, to write, to support each other
Facilitator: Kim McGee
What to bring: Paper and pen or your laptop
What to leave at home: Your worries! This is for fun.
Main meeting: First Tuesday of each month, 3 p.m., at the library
What is a memoir?
A memoir is an account of your personal experiences. Where an autobiography will usually encompass an entire life, start to finish, a memoir contains selected memories and your thoughts about them. You will remember the stories in your life differently than the other people who are in those stories, making your memoir a very personal thing. When you write a memoir, think about your audience and what you want them to know about you and to learn from you.
How do you write a memoir?
There is no one way to go about memoir writing, but an easy way to organize your memories is around themes. Each month we will explore a theme as a group. We will do a short writing exercise based on a writing prompt, and then if you are inspired to do so, you can take that “snippet” and develop it at home into something longer by incorporating other memories related to the theme. This is not a homework assignment – it is absolutely your choice. You may decide to write something completely different at home, and you may decide you are happy just to collect “snippets.”
What can I expect at a meeting?
At each meeting, we will listen to a writing prompt and then write for about 20 minutes. Mostly the writing prompts will be designed to jog your memory, but sometimes they might be about developing your writing skills. When you finish writing, you will have an opportunity to share your story and hear the stories of some of the other people in the group. By sharing, we not only get to enjoy each other’s stories, but we can learn from each other’s writing styles and perhaps have our memories jogged further by others’ ideas.
In addition to writing, we will
- look at published memoirs
- look at books about memoir writing
- look at ways to share our writing online (blogs, perhaps)
- look at workshops in the area that might be of interest
- discuss the writing process
Will my writing be critiqued?
Only if you really really really want it to be. If you get to the point of publishing and you want help with editing, I am sure members of the group will assist. Generally, though, the feedback should all be positive in nature.