Memorial Day Sale 2016

2016 NAMW Memorial Day Sale

Summer is a time of relaxation, vacations, travel and reflection.  What better time to gather your thoughts and put pen to paper?   Join the National Association of Memoir Writers and take advantage of the “writing season!”

NAMW is a membership organization that invites memoir writers from all over the world to connect, learn and become inspired about writing their stories. Our goal is to help you feel empowered with purpose and energy.  See yourself begin to develop your life stories into a memoir that’s ready to published, whether in essay form, a book, a family legacy or a blog. 

When you join NAMW, you are receiving the support of fellow writers from all walks of like.  Benefits of membership include: 

  • Free and discounted writing workshops designed to assist you in staying on task and focused;
  • Teleseminars covering the techniques that allow you to capture your memories and stories;
  • Author platform building & publishing tools; and
  • Access to a community of dedicated memoir writing professionals and enthusiasts. 

We are constantly looking for innovative ways to provide you with the tools and support needed for your unique memoir writing journey.

2016 NAMW Memorial Day SaleIn May, a time of remembering, the roses are blooming in our gardens. There’s happy birdsong and blossoms and many shades of green. Spring has sprung and we humans love celebrating these long hours of light. Our minds melt into dream as we feel the earth rich with new life. I believe that when we tune into the natural forces of the earth and the cycles of time, our creativity participates in these cycles, inviting us to dig into the treasures of our hearts and souls.  As memoirists, we need these moments of dream and reflection to help us move forward with our stories.

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, shine your creative light into writing your memoir. Think about why you’re writing, and the legacy you are creating about your life and the wisdom you’ve gleaned.

That’s why memoir is still so popular—to readers and writers. People need and want to learn from others about how life can be lived, about the transformations that can happen which create a circle of hope and inspiration for all.

Checklist of questions to ask yourself about the progress of your memoir:

  • What is the message I want to convey in my memoir?
  • How many words each month/week/day is my goal?
  • How many words have I written? (Keep a running list on your computer. )
  • What are my turning point stories—these are the most important ones to include. Make a list now and compare it to your last outline/musings. Maybe you have new stories to add.
  • How many turning point stories have I finished? How many are started?
  • What inspired you to write your memoir: List five reasons.
  • What skill sets do you need to develop? How are you fulfilling that need?
  • Remember, writing 300 words a day-a little more than one page-gets you to a first draft manuscript in six months.

Each month at the National Association of Memoir Writers, we offer Memoir Roundtable podcasts and Member Teleseminars to help people learn about the skills of memoir writing from the experts on the calls. The callers enjoy talking with each other and the presenters, and valuable information is delivered on each call. Over time, we get to know each other, and build a feeling of community. Member group coaching with me as the leader has been very popular with all our members. They are able to talk with each other, gathering in community on the phone. We talk about each person’s memoir project and cheer each other on. This is available only to members of NAMW.

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’s happening in your writing life.

the flag of the United States and the text Memorial DayTo celebrate remembering, to encourage you to write your story and leave your legacy, we’re offering a membership salea full $30 off our usual fee.

May 28-May 31–it’s just $119.00 for our full membership, a $149 value. You will immediately be able to download our digital gifts.

Existing members can renew for the discounted fee of $109.

You can also become a lifetime member for only $549.

To celebrate the 8th anniversary of the National Association of Memoir Writers, we’re including additional gifts you will receive when you sign up:

  • The PDF and audio of The Glass Castle, the book that rocked the memoir world by Jeannette Walls.
  • A PDF of Breaking Ground on Your Memoir—by Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner. This book tells you how to build your memoir from the ground up.
  • How to Sell Your Memoir—12 Steps to a Perfect Book Proposal by Brooke Warner. You’ll learn how to think about getting your memoir sold, and how to write a proposal.

Of course, members have immediate access to all the resources in the membership area of the site–over 100 audios and articles and several eBooks that address your memoir writing needs. 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 today.

The Art of Slow Writing


Date: March 5th, 2015

Time: 4 PM PST / 5  PM MST / 6 PM CST / 7 PM EST

Guest: Louise DeSalvo


I’m so very pleased and excited to have as our Roundtable guest for March the renowned author and teacher Louise DeSalvo. Over ten years ago, I immersed myself gratefully into her book Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives. There I discovered so many interesting details about how writing had helped to change the lives of writers who were famous, but whose stories about the process of writing weren’t generally known. This book also referenced the then new research by Dr. James Pennebaker about writing as healing, which led to my first book Becoming Whole-Writing Your Healing Story. For years I had worked with writing as a healing art as a therapist, and was excited to hear that the work of healing through writing was being validated in so many ways.

During this Roundtable discussion, Louise DeSalvo will discuss the stages of the writing process and how a writer can best work with—not against—the process. She will describe appropriate behaviors for each stage of the process and she will describe how learning about how “real” writers write can help us begin and complete our work. She will discuss those moments in a writing life—the dreaded middle of the process when nothing seems to be working—that often stop a writer’s work and she’ll discuss how to deal with those difficult moments. Finally, she will discuss some useful tools—the writer’s process journal; the use of a “Next to Do” list; the use of a writing plan—to help writers begin and complete their work.

From our discussion with this amazing teacher and writer:

  • You will learn about the stages of the writing process.
  • You’ll find out what the appropriate behavior will be for each stage of the process.
  • You will discover how knowing about how “real” writers work will facilitate your own
  • And you will learn a series of techniques to facilitate your work.

In addition to these points we’ll talk about her own process of writing five memoirs, and because I was so inspired by her book on writing as healing, I’d like to talk about that book and that important topic–one that memoir writers encounter regularly.

Sign up today to get the call information. A recording of the call will be emailed to everyone that signs up.

Louise DeSalvo is the Jenny Hunter Endowed Scholar for Literature and Creative Writing at Hunter College where she teaches memoir to undergraduates. She has published five memoirs, among them, the award-winning Vertigo and two books about the writing process, Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives and, most recently, The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity. She has been studying and writing about the writing process of famous writers for forty years and has recently completed Chasing Ghosts: A Memoir of a Father, Gone to War, which took her ten years.

New Member Benefit—Become a Featured Member on the NAMW website!

Everyone is talking about platform these days—I’m sure you keep hearing about how important it is to create networks where people have heard of you and your work. Writers are encouraged to start a blog and be active with one or two social media networks where you connect with an audience.

Here at NAMW, we want to help give our members a boost toward building platform! Each month a member can be our “Featured Member” on the website and in our newsletter. You can talk about your book, your writing project, and give links to your website or blog.

To be considered as a featured member, you need to be an active NAMW member.

If you are a member, log in to the member area and select “Become a Featured Member” from the menu. Simply enter your information in the form. You can include a brief write-up about your memoir, your website links, and a great looking photo of you! Once we hear from you, we will put you on our list of members to be featured.

Writing a Spiritual/Healing Memoir Workshop with Linda Joy Myers

Date: January 22, 2015 to March 26, 2015

Time: 3 PM PST/6 PM EST

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. ~Shirley Abbott

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.”

It’s important to write freely without worrying about your inner critic or being published just yet—though that may be your ultimate goal. In order to get your memoir done, you need to feed your creative spirit, and have accountability to help get your stories on the page in a first draft.

The workshop:

  1. Send that week’s story to your classmates through email.
  2. Workshop members read and write feedback through email—reflecting on what works; offering feedback about what could be different or clarified.
  3. At class time, we gather by phone to talk about the stories—discussing what comes up as you write, your inner critic, doubts and dreams about your stories, and questions about structure. Find out in person on the call what you want to know from the group that will help you continue and develop your work.
  1. I guide the group, offer writing tips, and teach techniques that help you keep writing and learn how to grow as a writer.

This class is currently full. Fill out the form if you want to be notified of the next workshop.


So, What? The Reflective Voice in Memoir & Why It Matters | Public Roundtable

mb desk cropped

mb desk croppedDecember 4, 2014

4 PM PST   5 PM MST   6 PM CST   7 PM EST

Guest: Marilyn Bousquin

Listen to call recording.

Writing a memoir of substance requires more than a one-dimensional recounting of events. As Vivian Gornick puts it, “What happened to the writer is not what matters; what matters is the large sense that the writer is able to make of what happened.” No matter how interesting a story, without a deeper, underlying meaning our readers are left asking, “So, what?” The memoirist’s job is to cull meaning from experience. This is where the reflective voice comes in. The reflective narrator not only speaks the truth but also interprets experience and arrives at insight; indeed, the author’s insight becomes an integral part of the story and imbues it with universal appeal.

In this roundtable discussion we will:

  • Identify the reflective voice and how it distinguishes memoir as a genre
  • Explore the differences between the reflective voice and the narrative voice in memoir and the necessity of both
  • Understand the relationship between the reflective voice and the emotional arc of a memoir and how the reflective voice drives a memoir story
  • Realize the power of reflection to lead to discovery both on the page and off the page and how reflection can help you gain the emotional distance necessary to shape your material
  • Learn reading and writing practices that will help you to cultivate the reflective voice in your own writing

Call Recording


Marilyn Bousquin, founder of Writing Women’s Lives™ (, specializes in teaching both the craft of writing memoir and the consciousness work that leads to recovering one’s voice and claiming one’s truth both on the page and off the page. A certified Amherst Writers and Artists group writing coach, Marilyn holds an MFA in creative nonfiction. Her work appears in River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, in Kate Hopper’s Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers, and is forthcoming in Under the Gum Tree. You can read her book reviews in Literary Mama and River Teeth. Her essay “Against Memory” was named a finalist for AROHO’s Orlando Prize for Creative Nonfiction 2013. In addition to teaching classes and mentoring women writers at Writing Women’s Lives™, Marilyn teaches writing at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is currently at work on a memoir titled Searching for Salt.


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

professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal

...the NAMW memoir classes with Linda Joy Myers are wonderful