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Available Online

Memoir Intensive: Generative

6 Weeks • with Mira Bartók • Beginners / All Levels

  • Starts Apr 12
  • 495 US dollars
  • Online via Zoom

Available spots

Class Description

Have you ever wanted to write a memoir but didn’t know how to begin? Or maybe you have written one but need to jumpstart your revision in a fresh way. Or perhaps, you just want to dip your toes into the genre by generating new work. This supportive and inspiring course is for all of you, no matter where you are starting from. Each class will begin with a short reading from a variety of writers, from more traditional to experimental, such as Alison Bechdel, Joan Didion, Nick Flynn, Joy Williams, James Baldwin, Lidia Yuknavich, followed by free writes inspired by fun and exciting prompts. Sometimes we will use photographs, objects, and other ephemera to spark memories from the past. Each of you will have the opportunity to share aloud what you have written in class or expanded at home. Throughout this class we will explore voice, memory, setting, dialogue, landscape, structure, time, and all the elements that make up memoir. We will also talk a little about experimental approaches to memoir, such as incorporating lists, epistolary writing, images, or poetry into one’s autobiographical work. INSTRUCTOR MIRA BARTÓK is the author/illustrator of the New York Times bestselling memoir, The Memory Palace, which won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her writing has appeared in many places, including the Massachusetts Review, Jubilat, Another Chicago Magazine, Fourth Genre, the Kenyon Review, Psychology Today, Tikkun, the Bellingham Review, among others. She has also written and illustrated over 35 books for children, most recently, The Wonderling: Songcatcher, which was long listed for the UK’s Carnegie Medal and is currently in development for a feature film. The sequel, The Wonderling: Singing Tree, is forthcoming from Candlewick Press and Walker Books UK. Mira holds an MFA in painting and film from the University of Illinois and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts in Fiction. She has been a professor and lecturer at numerous institutions, including Smith College, the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago’s Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, among others. She is also a Fulbright Scholar in Folklore and Anthropology, specializing in the oral traditions of indigenous circumpolar peoples. She believes that stories are the lifeblood of a culture and would love to help you tell yours.

Upcoming Sessions

Cancellation Policy

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 a full refund (minus 10%, a transaction fee that is non-refundable and that we would otherwise be charged). If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive a refund minus 20%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We cannot offer credit or any refund. If you are absent on the day of your workshop or miss it for any reason, we are unable to offer any kind of refund or credit. If we have to cancel a class you have paid for, you will receive a full refund, without the service charge deducted. For our full listing of policies, visit www.PioneerValleyWriters.Com, Policies page (under Home). To withdraw and receive a partial refund according to the above, please get in touch with Joy at

Contact Details

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