Memoir(ish): Telling True Stories

This class is sold out! Please email us to be added to a waitlist.
Begins Monday, April 13, 2015

You have favorite stories to tell about your friends and family, and journals full of stories about yourself. You want to write about these people and experiences, but where to begin?

Memoir(ish) will show you how to identify the stories that mean the most to you and make them important to other readers. Capture family members on the page and turn life episodes into structured narratives.

Along the way you’ll tackle the questions that come up when writing about people you know. How do you write about painful experiences? How do you give details about times that you barely remember? How do you write about subjects that might make family or friends angry at you?

Published pieces, in-class writing prompts, weekly exercises, and informal sharing of work will help you find what’s compelling about your life — and transform it into a compelling story.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to turn everyday experiences into personal and meaningful work
  • How to make readers connect to your life stories
  • How to use elements like character, plot, and setting to develop your stories
  • How to navigate through difficult experiences on the page

What you’ll write:

  • Exercises to help you identify which life stories have the most potential
  • A draft of a personal essay or story

What you’ll read:

  • Published examples of personal essays and memoir
  • Occasional sharing of classmates’ work

Who should attend?

  • Adults 18 and over
  • Beginning writers

About the Instructor

Dana Norris is the founder and host of Story Club, a monthly Live Lit show for stories. She performs around Chicago with Mortified, The Paper Machete, The Kates, Essay Fiesta, This Much is True, Write Club, Here’s the Story, Guts and Glory, Adult Education, Beast Women, and many others. She has appeared on Live Lit panels at Printer’s Row, The Chicago Theater Conference, and AWP. She once went on a lot of internet dates and she writes about those mistakes for the websites In Our Words and Role Reboot. She has been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Tampa Review, and her stories have been featured on Vocalo.org (89.5 FM).

Dana has a BA in Religion and Creative Writing from Wittenberg University, a MA in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago, and a Certificate in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Northwestern University.

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    Creative writing, Chicago writing classes, family writing, non fiction, personal essay, memoir, family stories

    At A Glance

    Dates: Mondays, April 13 – June 8, 2015 (no class May 25)

    # of Sessions: 8

    Time: 6:30pm – 9pm

    Level: Beginning

    Location: Chicago Studio

    Course Fee: $415

    This class is sold out! Please email us to be added to a waitlist.