Category Archives: Monthly Newsletters

Free Events at the National Association of Memoir Writers

Pile-of-Books

By now, writers are aware that the publishing world is undergoing a volcanic eruption that has changed the landscape forever.  Ten years ago, when I published my first book Becoming Whole, it was “against the rules” to give anyone the hint that you were self-published. It was a dirty word then and generally understood that any self-published book was just not any good. Those of us writing and developing our books to the highest level of professionalism, which most writers did, were not in agreement with this assessment, but we wore it around our necks anyway. It carried an uncomfortable weight, and was something we had to either defend or deny.

Many of us got around the problem by starting our own publishing company–which I did with three friends. We hired the best designers of interior and covers, bought 10 ISBN numbers, created a DBA and publishing company name, got copyeditors and proofreaders–all of it. I learned about Bowker and what it does, and the Library of Congress rules. Printers, the thickness of paper, matte vs. glossy covers, shipping. It was a huge uphill climb and exhilarating. It was also a ton of work in a field I knew nothing about. And, I had to act as a publisher with Lightning Source, now called Ingram Spark, which is geared toward self-publishers now, but then I felt I was an imposter. I was a writer, mostly, but I was also determined to not be fettered by the publishing world’s gatekeepers at the time. 

I’m so excited to be part of the new conversation about publishing now! My last three books were published by She Writes Press, a hybrid publishing company that took the work I had to do by myself before and produced a professional set of books, two of which are finalists in the ForeWord Review Book of the Year contest. 

So here at NAMW, the publishing revolution, along with the Memoir Revolution, dubbed so by our own Jerry Waxler, are big topics of discussion. This week I’m pleased to have with us two self-publishing experts–expert because they did the work of researching how to publish on a shoestring, and put in the time to do their books well and with great care to detail. 

Sharon Lippincott and Boyd Lemon - medium sized

Sharon Lippincott and Boyd Lemon, our April Roundtable guests, have a huge cache of resources to help you learn more about self-publishing–from writing, to online organizations, to editing. Please join us live so you can ask questions, and as always, when you sign up, the downloadable audio is yours to keep as a resource.  

 

April Roundtable Details

Topic: Self-Publish Your Book on a Shoestring 

Experts: Sharon Lippincott and Boyd Lemon

Date: April 3, 2014

Time: 4 PM PDT  5  PM MDT  6 PM CDT  7 PM EDT

Sign up for this month’s Roundtable by clicking here

 

Spring 2014 Telesummit Slide

Spring 2014 Telesummit

It’s that time again! Please join us for our FREE Memoir Telesummit May 9. This event is always very popular, and still Free to all who sign up. 

 

 

 

This Spring, I’m so please to offer you four amazing experts in the field of

writing, publishing and marketing for our Memoir Telesummit

Angles of View–Writing and Sharing your Memoir

Back again with us is the talented and vivacious Sue William Silverman, author of three books. Just released is her third memoir The Pat Boone Fan Club–My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. She will talk with us about how to think about your memoir career, and the possibility that you will write more than one memoir. 

 

And when you write that book–what will you do? Will it fly off the shelves like books do in the Harry Potter movies? There is magic in getting your book into the right hands, and part of that magic lies in learning all you can about marketing. 

Our guest, the well-known book marketer expert John Kremer will talk about the basic, and advanced steps you need to know about to make your memoir a bestseller!  

 

In this era of fast everything, the flash essay and fiction has become popular–but it takes a certain angle to make your piece not just be a cut up version of a longer story. Our guest Christine Houser, owner and inspiration for FlashMemoirs.com will talk about the secrets of how to create brilliant flash memoirs that give you a chance for publication and even a prize.

One of the most challenging tasks in memoir writing is creating a plot–after all, we know what happened when, don’t we? But a memoir is more than “this happened and then that happened.” We’re so happy to welcome back Martha Alderson, best selling author of several books on plot. She’s going to talk about how to pre-plot your transformation in your memoir. She’ll guide us to find the moments that make your book sing–those moments of transformation that bring readers to your book and give them a takeaway they can use in their own lives.  

 

Remember, the Memoir Telesummit Angles of View–Writing and Sharing your Memoir is May 9–from 10 AM PDT to 3 PM -and it’s FREE! Tell your friends and sign up for the downloadable audio set to keep.

We look forward to seeing you at these free events to educate and inspire you to write and publish your memoir!

Have a great week!

Linda Joy Myers 

President

National Association of Memoir Writers 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Jerry Waxler –The Benefits of a Tele-Workshop

Jerry Waxler is offering another 4 – Week Intensive starting April 1. We thought you should hear more from Jerry, who is a devoted and stimulating teacher of memoir, about his workshop.  
 
 
Linda Joy: Jerry, we’re so pleased you are offering workshops here at the National Association of Memoir Writers. And the feedback from students in the class you offered in February was so impressive, we decided to offer it again in April. Why do you think your students appreciated the class so much?
 

Jerry: Two reasons. One is that I love encouraging people to find their stories and when they do it in a group, something magical happens.

Second, is that finding the underlying structure of each person’s unique experience turns out to be one of the most important challenges facing memoir writers. This class is a perfect environment to do just that. In the small interactive class, with feedback from me through each step, and support from the group, each author makes substantial progress toward clarity about their own project.
 
 

Linda Joy: I agree, Jerry. One of the most magical things about workshops and memoir writing is how supportive and empathic everyone is to each other’s stories, to each other’s lives.

So tell us how you approach finding the structure of a memoir.
 
 
Jerry: Every story has a beginning, middle, and end. At the start of each phone session,  I explain how these parts work. Then I invite everyone to talk about how they expect to turn their own life experience into that week’s assignment. By talking about it and reflecting on it, they gain a clearer understanding of how to take the next step. Then between classes they write a short piece and send it to ALL through email. We don’t critique each other. This class focuses on finding the structure. At the next class we review and move forward. We get a lot of work done–and the payoff after just four weeks is spectacular.
 
 
Linda Joy: I’m always so moved by what you write on your blog. Your blog is so generous in its analysis and deep emotional responses to memoirs. I love your passion about memoir writing, and your book The Memoir Revolution, which talks about the importance memoir writing has for the world, and for each person. You are always saying that everyone has a story, and everyone has a legacy to pass on. You walk your talk!
 
 
Jerry: Every memoir I read is the result of years of careful reflection, crafting and revision. As a reader, I consider it a privilege to be allowed into this expression of each person’s life experience. When someone comes to one of my classes, I think of them as heroes entering this same journey, and feel privileged to help them move toward their goal.
 
 
Linda Joy: As you know, the motto for National Association of Memoir Writers is “Be Brave–Write Your Story.” And that courage is about digging deep to find the truest threads of story, from exploring memory and beliefs, from wondering if what we thought we knew is what we know now. All of us who teach and guide memoirists want to support the writer and the story–and the process of helping the writer to shape and share their stories. Thanks for being part of that this spring!
 
 

Story Structure for Memoir Writers with Jerry Waxler

April 1 – 22, 2014, 4 weeks (Tuesdays) 4 PST, 5 MST, 6 CST, 7 EST

To write a memoir, you need to translate unstructured memories into the structure called “Story.” In this four session teleclass, Jerry Waxler will break the form of a Story into simple elements. Then we’ll walk together step by step through the process of translating your life experience into a form that readers won’t want to put down.
 

What you will learn

  • Importance of a protagonist and how you will become one in your memoir
  • The importance of the inner as well as the outer story
  • How to set up the beginning of a story so the reader wants to know the end
  • How to energize the middle so it drives the reader to the next page
  • How to create a satisfying ending
  • How to turn life lessons into a crucial element of a good story

 

To learn more about Jerry’s new workshop Story Structure for Memoir Writers | A 4-week Memoir Intensive click here to read more.

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

Spring into your Memoir Writing – New courses, workshops, and teleseminars

National Association of Memoir Writers Be Brave. Write Your Story
 
 daffodils
 
 
If you’re in the East coast, you may still be getting snow, but we out here in sunny California are experiencing spring with flowers, sweet scents, and warm temperatures. Just think if you and your children are writing memoirs, this winter will no doubt provide some stories to tell. Every moment that you experience can become part of a flash memoir or a short story. Or you might string together many moments that have meaning, offer a legacy, or present a new insight about your experience that will make a great memoir. We have a lot of courses here at NAMW this spring to help inspire you and offer you new skills. 

We’re happy here at the National Association of Memoir Writers to be offering some workshops that can help you begin and develop your memoir. The focus for two of the workshops is writing as a path of healing, a free workshop offered by Mark Matousek, and my workshop Writing a Healing/Spiritual Memoir–a 9 week course. Coming in April: another course by our popular Jerry Waxler that will help you find the structure of your story, and of course our free Roundtable discussion Self-Publish Your Book on a Shoestring with Sharon Lippincott and Boyd Lemon, experienced self-publishers. Brooke Warner and I will teach another best seller: The Glass Castle in April–a 4 week workshop.

Our popular and free Memoir Telesummit is coming up May 9th. Learn from experts about writing, plotting, and marketing memoirs, in long form and flash structures.  On March 21st–the first day of spring, join us for our March Member Teleseminar with Dawn Herring about journaling for inspiration–see below.

Have a great month, and keep on writing, learning, and being inspired!

 
 

March Member Teleseminar

Do you need a fresh approach toward discovering who you are and appreciating what you bring to this world? Are you looking for a fresh perspective in all of your life dimensions and want to express your creativity, thus increasing the quality of your life? Are you looking for a way to set appropriate boundaries in order to thrive and live life authentically?  Read more here.  
 
Topic: Journaling for the Empowering Discovery of Who You Are
Expert: Dawn Herring
Date: March 21, 2014
Time: 11 AM PDT    12 PM  MDT     1 PM  CDT    2 PM   EDT
 
 
 

Upcoming Workshops

Story Structure for Memoir Writers | A 4-week Memoir Intensive
Workshop Leader: Jerry Waxler
Date:  April 1 – 22, 2014, 4 weeks (Tuesdays)
Time: 4 PST, 5 MST, 6 CST, 7 EST
 
To write a memoir, you need to translate unstructured memories into the structure called “Story.” In this four session teleclass, Jerry Waxler will break the form of a Story into simple elements. Then we’ll walk together step by step through the process of translating your life experience into a form that readers won’t want to put down.

What you will learn

  • Importance of a protagonist and how you will become one in your memoir
  • The importance of the inner as well as the outer story
  • How to set up the beginning of a story so the reader wants to know the end
  • How to energize the middle so it drives the reader to the next page
  • How to create a satisfying ending
  • How to turn life lessons into a crucial element of a good story

Learn more here. 

 
 
Write a Healing Memoir/Spiritual Autobiography Workshop
 
Workshop Leader: Linda Joy Myers

Date: 9 Sessions (Thursdays)  Starting April 3, 2014

Time: 3 PM PST/6 PM EST

In this workshop, we silence the noise of everyday life and dig into memories, tune into writing our stories, and learn the skills needed to write a satisfying memoir–to get all the way to “The End.” This is a process writing workshop, where digging into your memories, finding the threads of what you remember and writing into what you need to say or explore is what it’s all about. We welcome your first draft, first thoughts in this workshop.To get a memoir done, we must do this early writing first. We enter into the doorway of memory with our writing, and let it flow out. 

The group is a witness and a support to your writing and the stories you have to tell. This is not a critique group, it’s a supportive group of fellow seekers and writers who ask useful questions to help you get to the core of your stories and share their own process and raw drafts.
 
Read more here.   
 

Discover the Healing Power of Writing 

Sometimes life can be really challenging.  “Bad” things, big and small, can and do happen.   But, it’s equally true that it’s what you make of life’s challenges that matters. The question then becomes not why but how – how do you get freedom from a loss, a trauma, wound, or just the existential challenges of life, to be able to arrive and move forward from it blessed by the experience?
 
One powerful answer: writing.  In fact, there is remarkable new science that shows that intimate journaling, if done in the right way, can help us metabolize the past (or the present) in a way that frees our attention to focus on our service.
 
If you are in struggle with an experience and are seeking to create freedom and joy in your life, I have a very special invitation for you:
 
Mark Matousek is an award-winning author and a vulnerable, heartfelt, penetratingly wise soul who knows how to help you feel through the deeper levels of wounding you might have experienced, to begin to unveil the more luminous core – the healing gift it can bring for your own life.  Mark is going to be sharing his process on a free virtual teleseminar, Thursday, March 20th at 5:30pm Pacific called: How to Use Writing to Heal: Embracing the Blessing in the Wound 

Learn more and reserve your FREE access pass by clicking here (a recording will be provided to all registered participants)
 
During this virtual workshop with Mark, you’ll learn how to:
 
  • Use writing to sense and feel different edges and dimensions of your wounds and how they live in your body
  • Develop your witnessing capacity so you can work with the feelings more objectively
  • Create a safe space in your writing to express “unallowable” thoughts and emotions – without dwelling in them
We all have wounds calling us to heal them.  This call will be a joyful step on your healing journey. 
 
Save your seat now by clicking here.


 

 
 

 

Two Ingredients You need to Write a Prize Winning Book: Determination and Community

Linda Joy, Sue William Silverman and Sheila BenderWhat a journey it is to write a book! All of you who are reading this newsletter know this already, but it can’t be said enough. I just received an infusion of enthusiasm and inspiration just getting back from the AWP conference in Seattle where I got to meet in person many people whom I’ve had a guests here at NAMW. Sue William Silverman and Sheila Bender have presented their fabulous workshops with us several times–Sue will be with us for our May 9 Telesummit this year–stay tuned for that announcement soon.
 
We all need a writing community to help support and reflect our efforts–that our words mean something, that we are connecting to others with our words. After all, we write first for the joy of our own self-expression and by sharing, we create a community. I got to see how BIG that community can be at the AWP conference where 13,000–yes, you read that right–writers gathered to learn, connect, hug, kiss, read, and cry together. The panel discussions included poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, and memoir. The memoir panels were all overflowing I think because the topics were so pithy: Breaking Silence, Family Trouble, Writing about Relationships–and there were many others.
 
Linda LBRThis week our Roundtable guest is Linda Bello Ruiz, who was a new writer when I met her a couple of years ago, but she already had gritty determination to write a book that showed the arc of her life, from being a lost young girl in San Francisco whose life had started to turn dark, to someone who rescued other lost children in Costa Rica through programs she started.  Linda had to learn how to write in a literary way and how to write a book all at once, but she is one determined person. She writes in her blog post this week what she had to go through, and we’ll talk more about what it takes to write a book.  You will learn about the community building she did, as well as the layers of the writing and editing process that she and I did together to bring her book into the world. It won the Gold Medal Award in the 2013 Illuminations Book Awards, Memoir Division.
 
Please sign up to you can get the free audio download–or join us live so you can ask questions during our Roundtable Discussion. What do you need to know about writing your memoir? Do you want to be a prize-winner? Or perhaps you would like to listen to a “regular” person, who was a beginning writer, tell you how she became published and won a prize.
 
Event Details
Name: Linda Bello Ruiz
Topic: 5 Things You Need to Know to Become and Award Winning Author
Date: March 6, 2014
Time: 4PM PST     5PM MST     6PM CST     7PM EST    
 
 
Sign up here for this event.
 
 
 

Welcome Your 2014 Writing Life with Intentionality and Vision

ID-100223902As you move into 2014–rushing toward it, tip-toeing, slipping into it–which is it for you?–it’s a great time to re-focus on priorities for your writing life, to reflect on what you’ve done and visualize where you are going. 

On my list: I’m gathering ideas for new articles, freewriting new titles, and outlining–again–a new memoir. At NAMW, I’m planning programs for the new year, and researching new ways to reach writers. Among other things. I keep in the forefront of my mind how important it is to draw upon juicy creativity in all these endeavors, a quality that can get drained away under stress, under the pressures of our everyday tasks.
 
With so many pathways to getting your memoir done–from freewriting to outlining, choosing to write on your own or join a group, taking classes or to reading books on writing–it’s helpful to deepen your intentions, visualize your goals, and take time to create forward motion that will help you write your memoir without creating extra stress in your life.
 
I’m so pleased to share with all of you my colleague Kay Adams again! We have been writing friends and actual friends for years, and shared many programs together through her Center for Journal Therapy and the Therapeutic Writing Institute. Kay is one of the most creative people I know, always finding new methods to help people use writing to heal, helping them learn to draw upon the wise writer within to transform their lives.
 
Event: Roundtable Discussion with Kay Adams
Date: January 9, 2014
Time: 4 PM PST  5 PM MST  6 PM CST  7 PM EST
Sign up here for call info and your free audio.
 
We begin each year filled with hope and possibilities for delicious outcomes, manifested visions, actualized goals. This will be the year our books will complete, we will build websites, we will master social media! Then, usually before the calendar page turns to February, “real life” descends and we’ve lost that oomph.
I’m so pleased to have as our guest my friend and veteran journaler, visionary, and presenter, Kathleen (Kay) Adams! She is a master of creating new methods to help writing emerge and become real on the page, to invite healing through writing personal stories. Read more…
 
 
 
 
Bird by Bird & Beyond
Bird by Bird & Beyond will be a day focused on building storytelling skills and work strategies for writers and others interested in personal narrative. This event is open to everyone. No previous writing experience required.
 
In the morning Theo Pauline Nestor, Candace Walsh, and Tanya Taylor Rubinstein will teach a series of classes in the three most popular genres of personal narrative: Memoir, Essay, and Solo Performance. The classes’ primary focus will be on concrete techniques that build a story up and hold it together; the secondary focus will be on understanding and developing our own individual styles of work and developing strategies that get us to the work and keep us there.
 
After lunch and an on-stage interview with Nestor, Anne Lamott will give her talk “Almost Every Single Thing I Know About Writing,” during which she’ll share with us not only how she does what she does so well but also “why writing might be a matter of life and death” and the beloved topics of “messes,” “hysteria,” and “despair.” The talk will be followed by a Q &A session and a book signing.
 
 
Special Price for NAMW  

When NAMW readers enter this promo code upon payment, they will receive 50 dollars off the price: writenamw 
 
Sign up here.
 

 

 
 
*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

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Testimonials

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