Digging Into the Depths: A Generative Memoir Workshop (with Anita Gill) - ONLINE
Every person has at least one story within them. But then they face the page and freeze. Their memory fails them. They get fearful they will offend family members. Suddenly, the house has never been cleaner.
In this class, students will participate in a comfortable and supportive environment where they can learn about the general forms of memoir writing and try their hand at crafting their stories. Each week, students will learn about a different style of nonfiction writing and how it can enhance their content. Students will be expected to read nonfiction examples weekly and to produce short memoir writing both in and outside of class, in order to have a portfolio of work by the end of the course. Throughout the six weeks each student will have two chances to share their one-page assignment (500 words or less) in class to get generative feedback and understand the concepts in their work that keep readers engaged. Writers should plan on having 1-2 hours of reading and writing to complete each week. A few memoir examples will be discussed on the first day of class, which will be emailed to the students a week before the first session. Level: Beginner. No experience required. Limited to 10 writers.
WHEN: 6 Weeks: Sundays, August 21 - September 25 (10am - 12pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
ANITA GILL is a writer, editor, and recent Fulbright fellow in Spain. Her essays, memoir, and satire have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Rumpus, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Prairie Schooner, The Offing, The Baltimore Sun, and elsewhere. Her writing has been listed as Notable in Best American Essays and has won the Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction. Anita is a member of Women Who Submit, an organization that educates and encourages marginalized genders to get published. She currently serves as the Nonfiction Editor for Hypertext Magazine.
- Recognize several forms of nonfiction and memoir writing
- Confidently decide on the appropriate form for their content
- Produce five to six new pieces of nonfiction
- Receive personal feedback on two of their 1-pagers
WEEK-BY-WEEK WORKSHOP OUTLINE
WEEK ONE: INTRO/UNEARTHING MEMORIES
We will get to know each other and the organization of this course. We will kick-start our discussion of memoir writing by looking at a few examples and get started rendering memories onto the page.
WEEK TWO: MEMOIR VS. PERSONAL ESSAY
We will examine and discuss the difference between these two forms and which is best-suited for the content we are producing. We will start our rotation of one-page sharing.
WEEK THREE: THE BRAIDED ESSAY
We will look into the structure and style of the braided essay and how it helps when there are gaps in memories. We will continue to share one-page assignments.
WEEK FOUR: HERMIT CRAB ESSAY
We will consider how content should match with form and the possibilities that can arise with the hermit crab essay. We will continue to share one-page assignments.
WEEK FIVE: FLASH MEMOIR
We will discuss the benefits of capturing moments in flash pieces for publication or for implementing in larger work. We will continue to share one-page assignments.
WEEK SIX: GLIMMERS
We will look at the utility of “glimmers” and how it can enhance our memoir writing. There will also be time to catch up on any of the previous forms where there are lingering questions. We will share one-page assignments.
RECEIVING THE ZOOM LINK: For one-day workshops, we send out the link to attend the Zoom session 1 - 2 days before the event, via email. For multi-week workshops, you should receive info and the link about 3 - 5 days before. Please mark your calendars when you first register and look for our emails. If you don't see the email in your inbox on the day before the class, please check your spam and junk mail folders (and search all folders) for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org before contacting us. We have found that very often our emails end up in those folders. This is based on your own email settings, and you can prevent this by adding our email as a contact.
ONLINE SESSIONS happen remotely, via Zoom video conference. All you need is a laptop, computer, or phone with functioning audio and a webcam. Those who RSVP receive directions and a link to "join" the session via email (please see above note about receiving the Zoom link). All online instructors will log on to the video conference a few minutes before the start of the session, so please plan to log on early if you'd like assistance! We'll do everything in our power to help you get comfortable with the Zoom format, though we are not able to offer technical assistance beyond basic Zoom orientation.
REFUND & CREDIT POLICIES AT PVWW
Because of non-refundable fees that we, PVWW, must pay for every transaction that happens, we are not able to give full refunds to those who register then withdraw from a workshop or class. If you withdraw from a workshop ten days or more before the start of the class: You'll receive full credit toward another workshop or class of equal value OR a refund minus 10%. If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive full credit toward another class OR a refund minus 30%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We are not able to offer you credit toward another class or a partial refund, unless in the case of a medical emergency. If we have to cancel a class for any reason, you will receive a full refund, or if you choose, a credit in the amount of your payment, to be used for any future PVWW class. Anyone who does not specify whether they would like a refund or a credit for a cancelled class within 3 months will automatically be refunded. Please contact Joy (email@example.com) for all matters concerning credit and refunds.