Back to School/Labor day Sale–Celebrating New Beginnings

labor day


Here at NAMW, we think of Labor Day and Back to School as a chance for new beginnings. To us, the start of September is a time to pick up projects that might have languished over the summer. It’s a time to refocus and reset our goals. So we say, let’s KICKSTART our focus with a sale on NAMW annual membership!

To celebrate new beginnings, NAMW is offering $20 off the cost of an annual membership from today through Wednesday September 3rd!

NAMW new Memberships are now just $149 $129 Add to Cart
NAMW Renewals are $139 $119 Add to Cart

Become a member today!

Current and lapsed members are encouraged to take advantage of this sale!

If you’re still unsure about joining, here are just a few great reasons why it pays to be a NAMW member:
• FREE access to Live Monthly Teleseminars and FREE downloadable recordings of over 70 archived Teleseminars
• Free downloadable recordings of our past Telesummits, with valuable topics such as “From Story to Sold! Becoming a Successful Memoir Author”
• Special Member Discounts for Workshops, Online Classes, and Webinars
• Receive three FREE e-books on the memoir-writing craft by renowned authors
• PDF download of the NAMW e-Book: Memoir Writing as a Healing Journey by Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D.
• Access to information on contests, grants, and publishers as well as exposure to cutting-edge news and information about the memoir-writing field
• Opportunities to share your successes and new publications with other memoir writers and ask questions on our NAMW Members-Only Facebook group

…And much, much more!

It’s simple! NAMW new Memberships are now just $149 $129 Add to Cart
NAMW Renewals are $139 $119 Add to Cart

We hope in the spirit of the new “school year,” you’ll decide to take your relationship with NAMW to the next level and join as a member.


Our September Member Teleseminar is already upgraded to a Webinar with Michele DeFilippo and Sonia Marsh–a dynamic way to learn. We Do Judge a Book by its Cover–Secrets You Don’t Know About Book Cover Design. When you become a member, you automatically receive the member Teleseminars for a full year for free.




retreat pic--water crop

New Beginnings Retreat Discount

Last chance discount for our Memoir Writing Retreat Write Your Memoir Now!

We have a wonderful group already registered, and there are a few openings left for this three day opportunity to be immersed in your memoir and learn from our three experts how you can write and publish your book.

Save $100. Just a few spots left.

To learn about the retreat and see the full schedule for the weekend click here.

Please email us at if you have any questions.

Here’s to new beginnings!


We DO Judge a Book by Its Cover—Secrets You Don’t Know About Book Cover Design – See more at:
We DO Judge a Book by Its Cover—Secrets You Don’t Know About Book Cover Design – See more at:

Dad: Re-Visited on #Father’s Day

Judy L. Mandel


Dad beach 1953012I can see my dad bent over his watchmaker’s bench, jeweler’s monocle in his right eye, squinting the left shut while he scrutinized a diamond. Dad didn’t have much hair from the time I could remember, but in this crouch there was always one wayward black-gray strand dangling in front of the monocle.

He proudly displayed his framed Gemologist certificate behind the diamond showcase in his small shop in Elizabeth, New Jersey. As a kid, I could never figure out why that piece of paper, earned after a short course in identifying the quality of diamonds and other gems, meant so much to him. It wasn’t until much later that I realized it was the only graduation certificate he ever received. Another reason he insisted I get a college education.

My dad and I operated like far-flung planets in the same solar system; my mom and my sister our shared moons, but never sharing the same orbit. I worshipped him as a child. At first because he could pick me up over the waves at Bradley Beach, protecting me from their washing machine swirl, the sand-caked bathing suit, gulps of ocean and salt-stung eyes, if I stayed close enough for him to grab me and lift me at just the right moment when the wave peaked its highest.

Staying close was not always easy. He would wade ahead of me in the surf until I got up the courage to run after him and cling to an arm or leg. Off the beach, he was home for only a couple of hours each night before bedtime, just one full day each week on Sunday. He never left his shop in someone else’s hands. “That was just asking for trouble,” he said.

Sunday was his bowling league, and I would beg to be taken along to watch or play pinball in the arcade area. I remember him being reluctant, giving me a fist full of quarters to keep me occupied while he competed with his team. He was pretty good too, and taught me how to hit a split for a spare.

He was always reading a couple of books at a time. Usually the newest popular fiction by his favorite authors: James Michener, Herman Wouk or Leon Uris. When he was propped up in bed, book leaning on his tummy and his black reading glasses balanced on his nose, I knew not to interrupt. Sometimes his bedside radio played softly.

Dad was the one who went out into the unknown world, encountering strangers daily, slaying the dragon of commerce with a very small sword. I was right to think him brave, even if I didn’t know why.

He was fifty when his shop went under, I suspect because of his generosity in extending credit and cutting prices when someone “needed” an engagement ring or a gift for Mother’s Day. Just 10 then, I remember he and Mom telling us the news, assuring us that everything would be fine. And, it was fine. Dad got a job with a jewelry chain and probably had the most productive years of his life. He won prizes for his incredible salesmanship, beating his own goals year after year. After his death, I found a letter from one of those bosses, folded into a tiny square of yellowed stationary and tucked into a strong box under his bed, praising his skill and expertise. It made me think of that Gemologist certificate, lost long ago.

I tried to stay close over the years, hoping he would always lift me over dangerous waves. It wasn’t until I wrote my memoir, Replacement Child, that I understood the illusive chasm between us. That the memory of my sister, killed in a plane crash when she was seven, was never far from his mind. What could be more of a reminder than a daughter who looked, and for all I know sounded, similar to his lost girl?

I learned a great deal about Dad from writing through his ordeal following that horrendous accident, pieced together from often-told stories, news articles and family notes. The hurt at being his “replaced” daughter faded and I came to understand just how brave a man he really was.


Judy L. Mandel is the author of the IPPY award-winning memoir, Replacement Child. She will be a workshop leader at the upcoming WRITE YOUR MEMOIR NOW! workshop retreat, sponsored by NAMW, October 3-5 in Connecticut. She will join NAMW President, and award-winning author, Linda Joy Myers and memoir teacher and author Jerry Waxler for the in-depth memoir retreat. Check now for early bird discount and special bonus!

It Is All About You | Sharon Lippincott

It’s easy to forget that a memoir really is all about you and step back from the story at key points. “I didn’t want to say too much about that, because I don’t want to sound like I was bragging,” is a common response to the urging to the feedback “I’d like to read more about that.”

Most of us learned early that bragging was to be avoided, and those who have been fortunate and rise above the ordinary may hesitate to elaborate on successes in memoir. The inverse is equally true: nobody wants to sound like a whiner! And yet, to limit and account to the bare mention of triumph or tragedy leaves readers wondering what the real story was.

Bragging boils down to a matter of telling rather than showing. When you “report” on your life, focusing on facts with no mention of feelings and insights, the result may sound like bragging. If you just report that you won the Pulitzer Prize and move on to something else in the next sentence, I’m going to feel shortchanged, and maybe a little angry when I read that. I may feel like you didn’t trust me, the reader, to understand.

The solution is to put more of yourself in the story. Tell your readers what you thought and felt at the time. What did this event mean to you? Why was it important? How did it affect your life? Whether triumph or tragedy, if readers think it is a big deal, they are not going to believe you if you say it wasn’t. Let us know how it was a big deal to you, or if it really wasn’t tell why not.

Use a short scene to put heart and humanity into a successful moment, for example:

When I set the paper aside, I could hardly breathe. I sat there with tears streaming down my face as I realized that all those weeks, months, and years of pounding away on my Underwood had finally paid off. The ultimate critics had bestowed the ultimate honor. As I pondered this extraordinary news, I was overwhelmed by a mixture of humility and tumultuous joy. I simultaneously sank with grief that my mother had not lived long enough to share this joy and felt my spirit rise and soar like a hot air balloon in a sunny sky. I wanted to run and shout, stop strangers on the street. I wanted to crash down the solid walnut door and storm unannounced into the Publisher’s office waving my letter. Instead, I took a deep breath and strolled into the press room with wicked anticipation and glee.

You may not have anything as dramatic as a Pulitzer to report, but small things that brought elation or devastation matter too. Don’t hesitate to “brag.” Just be sure to package it in context and let us feel your response. Remember, this is your story, and it really is all about you!

Memorial Day Membership Sale

Garden_seat_arbor_pink_roses_smallThe roses are blooming all over! Fragrant gardens, birdsong, and blossoms, many shades of green, wafting soft breezes, happy earthworms–spring has sprung! Our minds melt into dream with such richness of the earth with new life, the flowering of what will be the fruits of the harvest. I believe that when we tune into the natural forces of the earth and the cycles of time, our creativity is lit up, inviting us to dig into the treasures of our hearts and souls.

Remember, every month of this year invites you to make more progress on your memoir. As you tune into the glorious light of the season, are you shining your creative light into your memoir writing? What legacy are you going to leave about your life and the gifts you can share with others?

Here’s a checklist of questions you can ask yourself about the progress of your memoir.
  • How many words each month/week/day is my goal?
  • How many words am I writing? Keep a running list on your computer.
  • What are my turning point stories–the most important ones to include? List them
    again and compare to your last list. Maybe you thought of some new stories
    to add.
  • How many turning point stories have I finished? How many are started?
  • What inspired you to keep writing: List three things.
  • What skill sets do you need to develop? How are you doing that?
  • Remember, writing 500 words a day gets you to a first draft manuscript in six
In the memoir Roundtables and Member Teleseminars each month at the National Association of Memoir Writers, the callers enjoy saying hello to me, the presenters, and each other. Over time, we get to know each other, and build a feeling of community.
We enhance community connections on our member and open Facebook groups and page. Just type in National Association of Memoir Writers, and join us. Tell us what you’re writing and reading, the new skills you’ve developed, and what is happening in your writing life.
To celebrate remembering, to encourage you to write your story and leave your legacy, we’re offering a membership sale, a full $49 off our usual fee.
For four days, May 24-May 27–it’s just $109.00 for our full membership, a $149 value. You will immediately be able to download our digital gifts, and we’ll be sending you in the mail our welcome package.
To celebrate the 6th anniversary of the National Association of Memoir Writers, we’re including three additional gifts in the mail package:
Notepad, pen, and magnet branded with our newest design:
The welcome package also includes the 5 Secrets of Memoir Writing booklet and CD, a CD interview of Kay Adams, founder of the Center for Journal Therapy, a welcome letter, and tips on memoir writing. Of course, members have access to all the resources in the membership side of the site, which include over 130 audios, articles, and several eBooks. To learn more about our membership benefits please visit us here.  
Take advantage of our Memorial Day Sale by clicking here.
I wish you a glorious Memorial Day, and invite you to remember, write, and celebrate your life by starting your memoir




Become a Member Today!


Myers makes a compelling case for the power of words as a form of healing and growth.
Read More

James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D.
professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal