Public Memoir Roundtables

Prepping Yourself and Your Book Idea for Success

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January 8, 2014

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

nina-amirGuest: Nina Amir

We are so pleased to have Nina Amir return as our guest! Nina has traveled the path of publishing from self-publishing to becoming a renowned author at Writer’s Digest books. She knows her stuff, and in this teleseminar she will guide us through the things you need to know about getting the right focus for your book and plan your trajectory from writer to author so you are successful.

The average book today sells only about 250 copies a year, 3,000 in its lifetime. Improve your odds of becoming a successful author by producing a business plan for your book before you write a word. As you do, you’ll develop an Author Attitude and learn how to evaluate your ideas and yourself through the same lens used by an acquisitions editor. You also develop a career plan to help you reach your destination: successful authorship.

Learn how to determine if your book is not only a great creative idea but also marketable product—a viable business venture—as you go through the Author Training Process. It’s the foundation for creating books that sell—to publishers and to readers! This evaluation tool helps you determine if your book is ready to go to market—to be shopped to agents, publishers or readers—and if you are ready to become an author.

This is NOT a session on how to write a book proposal (but you’ll learn a lot about it). This IS a session about how to use the parts of a book proposal as a process to train yourself to see both the creative and business aspects of writing and publishing a book and creating a business plan for a book. This session is appropriate for fiction writers and for nonfiction writers.

(Based on Nina Amir’s new book, The Author Training Manual, Writer’s Digest Books, Feb. 2014.)

Session takeaways:

  1. Learn how to discover if your book idea is marketable.
  2. Find out how to decide if you are cut out to write and market a successful book—if you are an attractive publishing partner or savvy indie publisher.
  3. Discover what publishers and readers want.
  4. Learn how to produce a successful book.
  5. Take the nine steps in the “proposal process.”
  6. See through an acquisitions editor’s eyes.
  7. Find out why you shouldn’t write your book as soon as you get the idea.
  8. Learn how to be the business partner a publisher seeks.

Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, and blog-to-book coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author she has published 15 books and had as many as four books on the Amazon Top 100 list at the same time.

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

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

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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

Bio

Marilyn Bousquin, founder of Writing Women’s Lives™ (www.writingwomenslives.com), 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.

How To Capture Emotion in Your Memoir | Public Roundtable

Angela Ackerman

November 6, 2014

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

Guest: Angela AckermanAngela Ackerman

How To Capture Emotion in Your Memoir

To write a memoir, we need to find a way to translate the “real people” in our lives from our memory onto the page—to create “characters” that convey the reality of being alive and motion and having emotions. The reader needs someone to identify with—you are the protagonist in memoir–

Conveying emotion effectively is difficult for many writers, but is critical for generating empathy that pulls readers into the story. This hour presentation will look at the power of deep point of view, and how writers can use dialogue, body language, thoughts and visceral sensations to show emotion.

In this webinar you will learn:

  • A better understanding of deep Point of View
  • An overview of the best ways to show character emotions
  • How to avoid emotion trouble spots such as melodrama and telling
  • Further tools and resources on emotion

Watch the recording



Click here to download…

 

Angela Ackerman is a writing coach and co-author of three bestselling resources, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes and The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws. Her books are sourced by US universities and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors and psychologists around the world. Angela can also be found at Writers Helping Writers, a site which specializes in building innovative tools for writers that cannot be found elsewhere.

THE BIG DECISION: MEMOIR OR FICTION?

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Date: October 16, 2014
Time: 4 PM PDT 5 PM MDT 6 PM CDT 7 PM EDT

At this free Roundtable Teleseminar, we’re going to address a subject that memoir writers struggle with: whether to write their story as a memoir—everything is true!—or as autobiographical fiction—I made it up!

Many memoir writers struggle with this decision, so we’re pleased to present Mary Gottschalk and Carol Bodensteiner, who have gone from a corporate life to writing and publishing memoirs and fiction. They will discuss their often-parallel paths from business writing to creative writing, including their perspective on the differences between memoir and fiction.

Topics will include:

• Memoir vs. Fiction — choosing your genre
• Memoir as a “training tool”
• Getting past the facts
• Factual accuracy vs. spiritual / emotional truth
• The value of a writing group/partner
• Building the writer’s toolkit

Listen to the Download of the Call

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Mary Gottschalk Bio

Mary has made a career out of changing careers. She spent nearly thirty years in the financial markets, working with Fortune 500 corporations in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Central America, and Europe. She dropped out in the mid-1980’s to embark on the multi-year sailing voyage that is the subject of her memoir, Sailing Down the Moonbeam. The key message of her memoir is that you grow the most when you step outside of your comfort zone.

Continuing to work with that theme, Mary published her first novel, A Fitting Place, in May, 2014. She blogs regularly on the experience of being outside your comfort zone. She is also a freelance writer and professional editor.

 

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Carol Bodensteiner Bio

Carol finds inspiration in the places, people, culture and history of the Midwest. After a successful career in public relations consulting, she turned to creative writing. Carol’s childhood on a family farm in the middle of the United States in the middle of the 20th century provided grist for her memoir, Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl. Having stepped 50 years back in history with her memoir, writing her debut novel Go Away Home set in Iowa during WWI was a logical next step. Carol blogs about writing, her prairie, gardening, and whatever in life interests her at the moment. Her essays have been included in a number of anthologies.

Develop the Mystery in Your Memoir | Free Roundtable Discussion

mani

Mani Feniger
September 11, 2014

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

maniMani Feniger thought her relationship with her mother was over when she buried her mother’s ashes. But two years later, the discovery of a startling photograph of her mother taken just months before rise of the Nazi regime in Germany, sent Mani on a twenty-year search across continents and lifetimes, uncovering clues about her family’s past that eventually revealed the life of a woman very different from the mother she thought she knew.

Mani’s award-winning memoir, The Woman in the Photograph, reads like a mystery. She didn’t know what she would find when she started, and she had to take into account every shred of evidence to weave together the surprising story that lurked in the silences and unfinished sentences of her relationship with her mother.

Even if you already have the basic facts of the story you want to write, being open to the unknown–the unexpected clues and conversations, the realizations that emerge as you write–will bring suspense and anticipation to your memoir.

In our September 11 Roundtable, we will talk about developing the mystery of your memoir, and explore the steps you can take to open up the narrative and pique your readers’ curiosity.

1. How to uncover the hidden layers of your story

2. Interview techniques for eager and less eager subjects

3. Using intuitive writing exercises to create authentic, complex characters

4. Building suspense with rhythm, pacing and knowing when to hold back

Listen to the recording

Download Mp3
About the Author: Mani Feniger is a therapist, speaker, documentary film consultant and author of Journey from Anxiety to Freedom and The Woman in the Photograph–voted Best Memoir 2013 by the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. Last year the city of Leipzig, Germany invited Mani to speak about her book in her mother’s birthplace.

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