Upcoming Events

September Roundtable Event – FREE to All – September 7, 2017

The Story You Need to Tell – We all have one!

Sandra Marinella

September 7, 2017

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

True stories are the heart of The Story You Need to Tell—How Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss Can Transform Your Life.  When I faced breast cancer in 2012, I decided to write to heal. And I did.  Inspired, I dug out and read twenty-seven of my old journals. Here I learned the power of personal writing to help me navigate a death, a post-partum depression, and my cancer, followed by my son’s cancer. Although my memoir frames and is threaded throughout this book, I focus on stories I collected from over 100 writers during my five years of writing. These unsung heroes share their heart-wrenching as well as heartwarming stories and shed light on how writing can change and transform our lives. This work is not only a memoir, but also a guide to transformative storytelling and writing based on over 200 research studies. I hope it will guide many memoir writers toward the story they need to tell. We all have one.

What we will explore:

  • What is the “story you need to tell?” and why is it important to write it?
  • What are the benefits of writing our memoirs?
  • What role can our intuition play in writing our memoirs?
  • How can interviews enhance your writing?
  • What are the stages of writing to heal and transform?
  • What are the potential roadblocks in writing and researching a nonfiction memoir?
  • What role can your friends and community play in your writing and publishing process?

 

Biography

Sandra Marinella is an award-winning writing teacher and author from Chandler, Arizona.  She has taught thousands of students and presented hundreds of writing workshops. Her articles have appeared in The English Journal, The Arizona English Bulletin, and Seventeen. When she discovered she had breast cancer, she rewrote her personal story and began working on “writing to heal” with cancer patients and veterans.  Her new book, The Story You Need to Tell–Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss (New World Library, 2017) shares her life-changing journey and these inspiring experiences. You can learn more at www.storyyoutell.com and follow her at www.facebook.com/storyyouneedtotell

August Roundtable Webinar- FREE to All – August 3, 2017

There Was a Fire Here: A memoir that rose from the ashes

Risa Nye

August 3, 2017

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

My book began as a string of short pieces, each one memorializing something of importance I’d lost in the 1991 fire that destroyed over three thousand homes in my city. The fire made an appearance in nearly everything I wrote afterward, either in passing or as a focal point. I didn’t imagine that the pieces I was writing would somehow fit themselves into a book. It took many years, a dedicated effort through an MFA program, a year of not writing, and some excellent coaching to see that these memories—and more—could be stitched successfully into a memoir.

The story I wanted to tell wasn’t just my story: it involved a widely publicized event that cost 25 people their lives. I had to make sure I got the details right to honor them and others. Luckily, I had the chance to do interviews. I’d also kept newspaper articles and a journal from that momentous time. My biggest challenge was digging deep into my memory to recall the horror of those early days, and confronting the moments when I was at my lowest.

What you will learn:

  • My book came out on the 25th anniversary of the fire. It’s never too late to start a project when it involves a story that will not let you go
  • Even if it begins as a disorganized “crazy quilt,” and you doubt it will ever become a book people will want to read, others can help you visualize the story you want to tell and help silence that inner critic who asks, “So what?,” “Who cares?,” and “Why now?”
  • You have choices about how to frame and structure your memoir: how I modeled mine after several of my favorite memoirists
  • Do the research, ask the questions, get it as right as you can—then keep writing
  • The cover matters! How to make sure the cover reflects the story within

Risa Nye is a California native. Her books, articles, and essays can be found at www.risanye.com. She co-edited the anthology Writin’ on Empty: Parents Reveal the Upside, Downside, and Everything in Between When Children Leave the Nest. Her Ms. Barstool column and other articles appear in Berkeleyside.com. She also writes for EatDrinkFilms.com. She returned to graduate school in 2009 and earned an MFA in Creative Writing. Her memoir, There Was a Fire Here (SheWritesPress) was published in 2016.

Listen to the recording below:

July Roundtable Webinar- FREE to All – July 6, 2017

How I Wrote My Memoir: One Sentence a Day

Thais Derich

July 6, 2017 

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

We are grateful that Thais Derich can join us for this FREE Roundtable Discussion teleseminar. She will discuss how she wrote her book, hired an agent by the hour, and found her publisher. Thais will surprise you when you learn about her unconventional path to publishing, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her passion for social justice in our writing.

Thais Nye Derich, in her memoir, Second Chance: A Mother’s Quest for a Natural Birth After a Cesarean, falls under the power of clinician-directed medical birth rather than one guided by the body’s own intuitive knowledge.

Derich’s story telling is empowering and she gains strength and healing through her vulnerability on the page. However, she writes her story, too, in solidarity with other women and their birth stories, refusing to whitewash the difficulties while still celebrating the moments of joy. It is fitting that she ends her memoir balanced between these difficulties and the joys.

You will learn:

  • How Derich wrote her book using this mantra: “one sentence a day.”
  • The ways that your memoir picks you.
  • How your story is bigger than yourself.
  • Learn how writing and speaking about a cause are different.
  • How to be a writer with young children.
  • How to balance family, work, and the art of writing.

Derich speaks about her story and the intersection between birth and social justice. Derich’s past work has been published in Salon, BlogHer, BabyCenter, Literary Mama, Wild Violet Literary Magazine, Forge Journal, SFGate, the San Francisco Examiner, among others and performed live at the Listen to Your Mother show. A chapter of Second Chance was a finalist out of 500 entries for the Creative Non-Fiction Magazine’s baby anthology. She now lives in beautiful Marin County, where she is writing her second book.

 

Listen to the recording below:

How Do You Choose the Best Storytelling Structure For Your Story?

Beth Barany

May Member Webinar

May 12, 2017

11 AM PDT  12 PM MDT  1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT 

How to choose the right structure for your story is a question that haunts most writers. Especially intuitive writers — pantsers — who tend to write organically.

Why does a story’s structure make writing it easier…or harder? When you find a storytelling structure that resonates with the kind of story you want to tell, the right structure stimulates your imagination.

Choosing the wrong structure can cause you to get stuck—because the structure works against you as you’re telling the story. You might mistake it for writer’s block. And spend weeks…or months…being stuck.

(Story structure is NOT plot. But story structure gives rise to plot.)

Join us for this NAMW webinar where we discuss “How to Choose Your Story’s Structure.”

In this webinar, you’ll learn the ins and outs of five powerful storytelling structures:

  • The Three-Act Structure
  • The Hero’s Journey
  • The Virgin Archetypal Journey
  • The 5-Point Plot Structure
  • The Five Commandments of Storytelling

We’ll also discuss:

  • what kinds of stories each structure lends itself to
  • how each structure is related to the other four, and
  • how “obligatory scenes” fit into these structures. If you’ve tried to plot according to a traditional story structure but it hasn’t worked…

If your stories feel “off” but you can’t put your finger on why…

If you’ve been confused by the Hero’s Journey or three-act structure in the past…

…don’t miss out on this chance to master five powerful storytelling structures and take your stories to the next level!

 

ABOUT BETH BARANY

Beth Barany is a certified creativity coach, NLP Practitioner, and keynote speaker. She helps fiction writers get their writing done and out into the world via Barany School of Fiction and the Writer’s Fun Zone blog. She’s the bestselling author of The Writer’s Adventure Guide and Overcome Writer’s Block. Her most recent book for writers is Twitter For Authors.

Beth writes young adult fantasy and paranormal romance. Her young adult epic fantasy novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, now the first book in a trilogy, won the Grand Prize in the 2012 California Book Fiction Challenge. Check out her free 5-day Writer’s Motivation mini-course: http://bethbarany.com/5daycourse.htm.

 

What Made Love Warrior a Best-selling Memoir?

An Examination of a Memoir That Bares the Soul (And Spares No One)

4-WEEK CLASS
Class dates (Mondays): April 24, May 1, May 8, May 15
4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

Classes are one hour long and we record all sessions so that you can watch the recordings if you have to miss a class.

 

EARLY REGISTRATION: $75 through April 17th

Regular registration: $89

Go to this page to register.

 

love-warriorLove Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton, has the kind of elements of pain that most memoirists struggle to write. She grapples with addiction, painful insecurities, her husband’s infidelity, maternal overwhelm, her rocky marriage, and questions about her own lack of sex drive. Tackling a single one of these issues is tough; to expose all of them and handle them with care is enormously brave. In this free webinar, memoir experts Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner will address the fears that invariably come up for writers looking to write their deepest truths and expose their most intimate—and often shameful—secrets. This webinar will address the fallouts too—and touch upon how sharing your truth has a way of both leveling everything and setting you free.

 

Class 1. Why Theme Is Memoir’s North Star (April 24)

  • How theme informs your scenes and why to keep your themes front and center while you write.
  • How to use through-threads to highlight your themes.
  • Tracking Glennon Doyle Melton’s hard themes of infidelity, eating disorders, and sexual dysfunction juxtaposed against the hopeful ones of healing, commitment, and love.
  • Tips for how to think about theme in your own writing, and why nailing down your own themes is the best gift you can give yourself as a memoirist.

Class 2. The Singular Power of a Clear Narrative Voice (May 1)

  • A look at Glennon Doyle Melton’s use of the Voice of Innocence vs Voice of Experience and how to integrate both of these narrative techniques into your own writing.
  • The power of sequencing—keeping your reader on track with what you knew when to create a more intimate and compelling narrative.
  • Pacing 101—tracking Love Warrior’s timeline and structure to showcase how to control your pacing, and why it matters in good storytelling.
  • Outlier narrative techniques in Love Warrior—and how they support the story and add to good storytelling.

Class 3. Reflection and Takeaway—Bringing Home Why Any of It Matters (May 8)

  • Understanding the difference between reflection and takeaway, using examples from Love Warrior.
  • Why takeaway can elevate a good memoir to a great memoir.
  • How Glennon Doyle Melton uses takeaway to pierce the hearts of her readers and invite them more deeply into an exploration of their own lives.
  • How and where to integrate reflection and takeaway into your own memoir so it’s both seamless and packs a punch.

Class 4. Baring It All and the Fallout (May 15)

  • The real-life fallout of writing about intimate and personal topics and family.
  • Glennon Doyle Melton in the news following the dissolution of her marriage after writing this memoir—and what she’s had to say about it.
  • How to decide what you’re going to share, and how to float test bubbles to see if you’re ready for the consequences.
  • The payoff of baring it all.

 

EARLY REGISTRATION: $75 through April 17th

Regular registration: $89

Go to this page to register.

Testimonials

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