Shiela Bender

Shiela Bender

Essay, Memoir, Creative Nonfiction—what are they?

Guest Speaker: Shiela Bender
Date: June 18, 2009
Times: 11 am Pacific | 12 noon Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern
Note: This teleseminar is an exclusive free benefit for NAMW members. If you wish to participate in all the 2009 NAMW teleseminars and receive other various membership priviledges, please click here to register. Annual registration fee is $127.00.

In the area of nonficition prose and writing from personal experience, there is a lot going on. The essay form itself has sprung into subgenres including flash nonfiction, the lyric essay, the hermit crab essay and more. Memoirs are being published at a rapid rate even though some in reviewing and publishing are constantly saying the memoir is finished as a publishable genre. Creative nonfiction is coveted by journals and publishers. What are all these forms and how do you know which you are writing and which your material best lends itself to?

We’ll examine the following in my teleseminar:

  • The essay – defining the essay, especially the personal essay and its strategies of organization for reaching insight
  • The memoir – defining the book length treatment of life themes and learning
  • Creative nonfiction – sharing information about ourselves and the topics we have learned about
  • Why we write in each of these forms
  • How to decide which you want to write
  • Identifying what in your topics and interest areas suits which of these genres
  • Where to publish what you write in these forms

Sheila Bender began her studies in writing poetry in Seattle, WA where she eventually received an MA in Creative Writing in l982. She has taught creative writing in the NW, CA, and AZ as a guest writer-in- residence and a visiting teacher in university and continuing education settings. Read more about Shiela Bender here.