Memoir in a Year

START DATE: Thursday, September 10th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

LOCATION: Chicago Studio

Writing a memoir can be tough. You explore the past, examine your experience, write about the people and places close to you, overcome doubts or fears, and shape all of this into a narrative that read more…

Categories: , .

Product Description

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, August 13, 2015.


Writing a memoir can be tough. You explore the past, examine your experience, write about the people and places close to you, overcome doubts or fears, and shape all of this into a narrative that connects with readers…

Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone!

Our Memoir in a Year program will help and support you during the long slog from plotting to composition to revision and beyond. It’s a unique opportunity to join a writing cohort, study craft, workshop key scenes, measure your progress, and meet deadlines.

The program offers a chance to devote an entire year to your project, giving it the attention and effort your work deserves. Memoir writer Nadine Kenney Johnstone will help you through the drafting process, whether you want to complete a draft, make revisions, or push yourself toward your own page goals.

Students will meet monthly for three-hour sessions to tackle the challenges of writing about our lives, workshop scenes, and share some snacks and beverages. In between class sessions you’ll have plenty of time to write and generate new work while still staying in touch via StoryStudio’s private class blog.

We’ve structured this program to provide maximum benefit without demanding too much time away from focusing on your own work. In addition to workshopping short scenes in class, participants will meet individually with Nadine for 100-page manuscript reviews.

The class will have its own online forum for exchanging additional work and reporting our progress and struggles. You’ll also receive a one-year membership to Duotrope, an online resource for literary journals and publishing.

Plus, all students will gain access to SSC 360, the online community where you can connect with students from other classes, stay informed about literary events around the city, and challenge yourself with weekly writing exercises.

Whether you’ve already made headway on your memoir or are just gathering ideas, this group will provide the structure, companionship, feedback, good humor and emotional support to help you see your project through.

PLEASE NOTE: This program is for writers who are ready to make a strong commitment to their work. Students will be expected to participate in the full program.


This course is limited to 12 students and is submission based. To apply, please do the following:

  1. Submit a 10-page writing sample in a Word document. The sample can be an essay or memoir excerpt.
  2. Fill out the MEMOIR-IN-A-YEAR-APPLICATION-INFORMATION form and attach it along with your sample.
  3. Email both documents to info@storystudiochicago.com.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, August 13, 2015.


Feel free to call or email with any questions: info@storystudiochicago.com or 773-477-7710.


About The Instructor

Nadine Johnstone
Nadine Johnstone

Nadine Kenney Johnstone's memoir Nine Babies On Ice: A Story of Life, Death, and IVF is forthcoming from SUNY press. Nadine received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago and has taught creative writing around the U.S.  She has been published in Chicago magazine, The MothPank, and The Drum, among other publications. Find her writing advice at Beyond The Margins, The Review Review, and Grub Street Daily.

Dates & Times

Dates: Thursdays, September 10, October 8, November 12, December 10, 2015; January 14, February 11, March 10, April 14, May 12, June 9, 2016.Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Cancellation Policy

StoryStudio Chicago is committed to keeping our classes accessible to all writers. We know that life interferes with our art sometimes, but the following policies apply to all refunds, transfers, and cancellations.Course Fees and Refunds Course fees must be paid before classes begin. If you need to cancel your registration for any reason, the following refund policy will be applied. Please note that when you register for a class you are reserving one of a limited number of spots available. Also, your registration counts toward our consideration of class minimums.StoryStudio Chicago is not able to provide refunds for any missed classes due to illness, work, family, or travel commitments, or any other reason beyond our control.Refunds are available per the following: At least three weeks prior to the first day of special event or retreat Program fees minus a cancellation fee of 25% of the fee paid. At least one week prior to the first class session For Single-Session Classes: Registration fee minus a cancellation fee of $25. For Business Writing Classes: Registration fee minus a cancellation fee of $45. For Multi-Session Classes & Camps: Registration fee minus 10% of the course fee paid.Less than one week prior to the first class Sorry, no refunds or credits are available less than one week before the first class session. Transfer Fees If it’s possible, we’re happy to transfer your registration from one course to another. There is a $15 charge for each transfer. To transfer classes with less than one week’s notice, other charges may apply.Cancellation due to low enrollment StoryStudio Chicago reserves the right to cancel classes due to low enrollment. If a class is cancelled, students are eligible for a full refund.Refunds are usually sent within 5-10 days of cancellation.For more information, please call 773.477.7710 or email us at info@storystudiochicago.com.