Public Memoir Roundtables

Free Events at the National Association of Memoir Writers


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. 

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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 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 


National Association of Memoir Writers 





Self-Publish Your Book on a Shoestring |Free Roundtable Discussion

Sharon Profile 450

April 3, 2014 Roundtable

Sharon Lippincott and Boyd Lemon


Some authors aim for wide-spread acclaim and million-copy sales, and they are willing and able to invest thousands of dollars to make that happen. Far more are primarily concerned with producing a high-quality product at an affordable price, primarily for friends and family. Services like CreateSpace, Kindle, Lulu and Smashwords allow you to upload files at no cost and order only as many copies as you want or need. It’s possible to produce a book without spending a single penny, but depending on your skills, dreams, available time, and budget, you may be well-advised to pay for a bit of help.

In this program, indie authors (the current term for self-published) Boyd Lemon and Sharon Lippincott will share their extensive experience in the low-cost self-publishing world. Between them, they have self-published a total of eight titles, and Sharon has helped friends and family with another half dozen. Both are active in indie publishing forums and groups on the Internet. Boyd began on the high cost road, gradually cutting expenses to the bone for his last couple of books. Sharon has found ways to successfully publish at no cost.

What you’ll learn

  • What skills you can learn to keep the cost of publishing down. Styles, formatting tools, and more.
  • How to know what you can safely do yourself and when to get help–resources to learn about.
  • How and where to find help when you need it. Facebook groups, Forums, Joel Friedlander, YouTube, Google, friends, NAMW events. Smashwords Style Guide, Kindle formatting guide. Smashwords conversion list …
  • High quality alternatives to professional services. Trading services with friends, both writers and other. Use lots of beta readers…
  • How to make the best use of limited funds. Collaboration, low budget cover people, do your own layout,  low budget editors— check references!


Boyd Lemon Photo

Boyd Lemon, a retired attorney, is the author of A Long Way To Contentment: A Novel, Retirement: A Memoir and Guide, Eat, Walk, Write: An American Senior’s Year of Adventure in Paris and Tuscany, Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages, Unexpected Love and Other Stories, and Winter: Short Fiction and Personal Essays. After a stellar 40-year career as a nationally recognized attorney, Boyd Lemon discovered his passion was writing, and pursued it in the idyllic coastal town of Ventura, California; the literary, art and music scenes of Boston; a Bohemian year on the Left Bank in Paris; and finally by the bucolic rivers and forests of St. Marys, Georgia, where he currently lives.  Boyd’s newest book is Retirement: A Memoir and Guide.   He has four adult children and four grandchildren.  His second passion is travel, and he has visited six of the seven continents.

Sharon Lippincott, a lifewriting coach and teacher, is the author of Adventures of a Chilehead: A Mini-Memoir with Recipes, The Heart and Craft of Writing Compelling Description, The Albuquerque Years, The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing, and Do’s, Don’ts and Donuts: The Complete Handbook for Successful Meetings. She teaches in Osher Lifelong Learning programs, directs the WE WRITE! Creative Writing University series of events, and serves on the Advisory Board of NAMW. Sharon  lives, writes and teaches in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Find her online at



 FREE April Roundtable with Sharon Lippincott & Boyd Lemon

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5 Things You Need to know To Become an Award Winning Author

March 6, 2014  Roundtable Discussion

Linda Bello Ruiz, Gold Medal Prize Winner

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

 Linda LBR

Linda (Cassells) Bello-Ruiz has written an award-winning memoir From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope. Originally from Redwood Valley, CA. She co-founded and directed The House of Hope in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Having never written a book, Linda did not she see herself as a “writer.”  She had to navigate a steep learning curve to achieve her dream. Not only did she work hard on her book—I coached her through the writing journey—Linda had to learn about how to present her book to the world and the various options/stages of publication. She worked hard in unfamiliar territory to achieve her well-deserved award, just as she worked hard in Costa Rica against all odds to create a safe haven for lost girls.

In this informative teleseminar, you will learn about the five things that helped Linda win her award.

  1. Perseverance against all odds—and passion for her subject
  2. How she assessed her audience
  3. The journey of finding her voice
  4. The editing and revision steps
  5. Her support team


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Linda is the author of From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope, which won the Gold Medal Award in the 2013 Illuminations Book Awards (Memoir Division).  Linda’s memoir tells the story of her remarkable journey from the darkness of despair and crushed dreams to the creation of a house of hope. A story about redemption, faith and purpose as she picked up the pieces of her crushed dreams and went on to co-found and direct The House of Hope for street girls, runaways and underage prostitutes in San Jose, Costa Rica. Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior from USF and a master’s degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University, and worked as a bilingual vocational rehabilitation counselor in Santa Rosa, California for twenty-six years. The mother of four grown children, she divides her time between Lincoln, California and Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico. She is active in RotaryInspire Christian Writers, the Northern California Publishers and Authors Association, and is president of the Lincoln Hills Authors Resource Group.


 FREE March Roundtable with Linda Bello Ruiz

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Who Am I Now? The Changing Self in Memoir | Roundtable Discussion, Mark Matousek

 Mark Matousek

February 6, 2014


 Free Teleseminar–Sign up below to get the call-in number.

One major challenge in memoir writing is the self changes over time.  Who you (or your narrator) were 30 years ago is not who you are today; not even your cells are the same (we get a whole new body of cells every seven years); so who is this “I” who’s telling this story?  Linda Joy Myers and Mark Matousek will be talking about how to work with the shifting psyche in memoir and how your choice of self (who you were 30 years in the past?  Or yesterday?) shapes the truth of your story.  We will discuss the connection between self and imagination, and how imagination helps inform memory.


 None of us has only one voice; we all house many characters who evolve, appear, and disappear over time.  Just as there is no solid self, there is no solid, monolithic story—as all memoir writers know.  

“Do I contradict myself?” asked Walt Whitman in “Leaves of Grass.”

 “Very well, then I contradict myself./I am large./I contain multitudes.”  

We’ll examine the paradox of self, memory, and imagination in this conversation.


What you’ll learn:

— How to locate the self who can tell your story

— The importance of context and temporal frame in focusing this self  

— How to work with contradictions between past self and present self in memoir

— The connection between imagination and memory in the changing self

— The fluid nature of truth as we evolve over time


Mark Matousek is the author of two award-winning memoirs, Sex Death, Enlightenment: A True Story (an international bestseller) and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search For His Lost Father (Los Angeles Times Discovery Book), as well as When You’re Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living and Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life.  A featured blogger for Psychology Today, Purple Clover, Huffington Post, he has contributed to numerous anthologies and publications including The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine (contributing editor), The New York Times Magazine, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and many others. A popular lecturer and writing teacher, he is the Creative Director of V-Men (with Eve Ensler), an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls. His latest book is Ethical Wisdom for Friends.


Psychology Today Interview with Mark Matousek and Linda Joy Myers

Click here to read interview.

Click here to listen to podcast.




 February Roundtable with Mark Matousek

Sign Up Here for Call Info and Free Audio

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Storyboarding Your 2014 Vision | Free NAMW Roundtable Discussion

 New years

 The dream changes at midnight….

from “New Year 2002” by Amy Christman

 Roundtable Discussion January 9, 2014


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. Through her books, workbooks, and workshops, Kay has helped train and teach hundreds, even thousands of people through the years, to find their voice, and to invite writing as a way to the inside of their story and their hearts.

In this lively teleworkshop, you’ll learn proven strategies and techniques to “storyboard” your vision for the new year. You’ll be guided to–

  • conceptualize a vision for 2014
  • build the bridge from “here” to “there”
  • draw the map that will help you cross the bridge
  • discover the power of accountability
  • “jump time” to embed and embody successful outcome

Bring your journals or notebooks and come ready to start your own storyboard for success in 2014!


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Kathleen (Kay) Adams LPC, CJT is the CEO/Director of the Center for Journal Therapy, Inc. and its professional training division, the fully online Therapeutic Writing Institute. She spent 2013 actualizing her vision for the Journalverse, an online learning community for journal writers and facilitators worldwide. Kay is the author/editor of nine books on therapeutic writing, including the best-selling Journal to the Self and the just-released Expressive Writing: Foundations of Practice. She has never quite grasped the difference between work and play.


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

James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D. 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

Kathy Pooler