Upcoming Workshops and Classes

The Four Elements for Your Memoir Writing Journey

Jerry Waxler teaches this 90 minute Teleclass

Jerry Waxler

4 Mondays September 24, October 1, 8, 15



To start a memoir, and just as importantly, to keep going, you must master the art of self-direction. This workshop will provide you the four essential elements to overcome resistance, and harness positive energy. Based on Jerry Waxler’s Four Elements of Self Help for Writers, the class will help you get to your chair and maintain focus and creativity while you’re there. Written exercises will help you connect the lessons to your own memoir writing journey. The workshop will give you insights into these four aspects of energetic writing:

Class One, Action: Use habits, schedules, dancing and doodling to keep writing and stay creative. Develop an intimate relationship between inspiration and perspiration. Learn to harness your left-brain to serve the right.

Class Two, Attitude: Your attitude can have a big impact on your energy. By developing healthy thoughts and beliefs about memoir writing, you can increase self-confidence, and defeat self-doubt and discouragement.

Class Three, Autobiographical Awareness: The story you tell about yourself has an enormous impact on your momentum. This session shows you how to turn that story into a self-help tool. An improved autobiographical awareness helps you improve your image as a memoir writer, and develop a future-story that includes success.

Class Four, Audience: By realize that writing is an attempt to communicate with an audience, you can use your relationship with them to help motivate you. Embrace your imaginary audience. Turn them from judges into fans. Make peace with gatekeepers.


Jerry Waxler M.S. is a workshop leader and writing coach, with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. He is the author of the blog, Memory Writers Network, [link: http://www.memorywritersnetwork.com/blog] which contains hundreds of essays, book reviews, and writing prompts about reading and writing memoirs. Mr. Waxler is the author of Learn to Write Your Memoirs, a Step by Step Guide and Four Elements for Writers, a self-help workbook, both available from his website. Jerry is a board member of the Philadelphia Writers Conference, teaches memoir writing at Northampton Community College and is on the advisory board of the National Association of Memoir Writers.


Member: $99.00



Non-Member: $109.00


Make Your Prose (Memoir) Writing More Poetic| Albert Flynn DeSilver

July  27 Memoir Teleseminar

Learn How to Make Your Prose (Memoir) Writing More Poetic with Albert Flynn DeSilver

11 AM PST; 12 MST; 1 CST; 2 EST

I’m thrilled to welcome Marin’s poet laureate, Albert Flynn DeSilver, to speak with us about the importance of language in your memoir, and how to infuse your work with real emotion, description, and inspiration through learning about how poetry works to move us, how it carries feeling and imagery to take us deep into story.

Here is what Albert has to say about poetry and memoir:

One of the highest compliments a piece of writing can receive is that it’s “poetic.” Whether we are talking about a novel, an essay, a screen play, or a memoir. We want our writing to shine, to be poetic—meaning, beautifully crafted,  billowing with unexpected metaphors, infused with a gorgeous fluid rhythm, and peppered with mysterious twists of language! Poetry (poetic writing) stirs the human heart, sparks the imagination and enchants the reader’s soul.

Join poet, writer, and publisher, Albert Flynn DeSilver, author of the new memoir Beamish Boy, to discuss ways to make your prose (memoir) writing more poetic. This teleclass will cover:

•A discussion of great poetry and how to apply it to story
•Examples of poetic prose writing from our favorite memoirists
•How to practice making your writing shine poetically
•A poetry exercise exercise to apply toward your memoir writing

Albert Flynn DeSilver is an internationally published poet, author, artist, teacher, speaker, and writing coach. He served as the first Poet Laureate of Marin County, California from 2008-2010. Albert is the author of Beamish Boy: A Memoir, and several books of poetry including Letters to Early Street, and Walking Tooth & Cloud, and his work has appeared in dozens of literary journals and anthologies worldwide. He presents at literary conferences nationally, directs a homecare agency, and teaches in the Teen and Family program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center near his home in Woodacre, California. Please visit his website at





Memoir Writing Teleseminar | How Using Personal History Methods Can Benefit Your Memoir

National Association of Memoir Writers June 15 Teleseminar

We have a special date for our member teleconference this month–Friday, June 15!

We meet at the usual times: 11  AM PDT   12 PM  MDT   1 PM CDT   2 PM  EDT

We welcome Dan Curtis, a personal historian. His blog offers many tips to help people find out more history from family members, and preserve memories. He will talk to us about the ways you can learn from the skills and techniques of personal historians to help you write your memoir, and he will talk to us about the difference between a personal history and a memoir.

Personal historians are skilled in their ability to unlock the stories from an individual’s life. Your memoir will be enriched by the stories you discover when you interview those family members, friends, and acquaintances who have been involved in different aspects of your life.

In this teleclass you will learn:

  • How personal histories differ from memoirs
  • Techniques to help unlock memories
  • How to put an interviewee at ease
  • Ways to improve your listening skills
  • Interviewing a challenging subject
  • How to avoid interviewing pitfalls


Dan Curtis is a personal historian, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, an adult educator, and a certified life coach. He assists people who want to preserve  family stories so their treasured memories can be saved for future generations. He offers a wide range of services, which include creating Video Memoirs and Personal History Books as well as offering workshops on writing personal histories and ethical wills.

He is the author of the blog Dan Curtis ~ Professional Personal Historian. It archives over 500 articles on the practice of being a personal historian. Dan is a member of the Association of Personal Historians and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.


How to Create a Memoir Anthology | FREE–June Roundtable Discussion

June Roundtable Discussion–Free for all

With Kate Farrell, editor of Wisdom Has a Voice, and guests

June 7, 2012

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

Creating an anthology of memoirs is a wonderful way to gather voices and diverse themes—and you as the editor can choose your themes, authors, and the voices you want to showcase. Many writers don’t yet have a full memoir completed, but they have amazing stories—and perhaps you do too. Creating an anthology—why, how, and what you need to know—is the topic of our June Roundtable Discussion. I’m so pleased to be in conversation with Kate Farrell, and two of the authors in her anthology Wisdom Has a Voice—Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother.

They will talk with us about how the idea to do an anthology came about, and the steps for creating the anthology. The seed of Kate’s idea came from her own memoir insights as she wrote about her mother who had died, and wanted to share her process of refinement, editing, and healing with others.

Her project, Wisdom Has a Voice, began with writing workshops and evolved into an anthology collection: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother.

The discussion will include:

When submitting a memoir to an anthology

  • Follow the guidelines in the Call for Submissions—each item is important and will determine who is selected
  • Write a memoir, not a bio-vignette
  • Learn about the selection process
  • Be willing to be edited, not just proofread
  • Participation in promotion post-publication and its benefit to you

Learning about the benefits of being part of a memoir writing community through anthology publication

  • Creating a book community with blog posts and social media
  • Learning from the other memoirs in a themed anthology

Writing the legacy of the Mother-daughter relationship

  • Issues in writing about Mother in memoir
  • Finding the wisdom
  • How two contributing authors developed their memoirs about Mother: Laura McHale Holland and Angela Tung
  • Benefits to being a contributing author in an anthology


Kate Farrell earned a Masters degree from UC-Berkeley; taught language arts in high schools, colleges, and universities; founded the Word Weaving storytelling project in collaboration with the California Department of Education and published numerous educational materials. She is founder of Wisdom Has a Voice memoir project and editor of the anthology, Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother, 2011.

Website: www.wisdomhasavoice.com

Angela Tung is a writer in San Francisco. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bellingham Review, CNN Living, The Frisky, New York Press, and elsewhere. She is a regular contributor to The Nervous Breakdown, an online magazine featuring the work of published and emerging authors from around the world, and is a writer/editor at Wordnik.com, an online word source. Website: www.angelatung.com

Laura McHale Holland’s award-winning memoir, Reversible Skirt, was published in early 2011 by Wordforest. Her short fiction, features, and essays have appeared in Every Day Fiction, the Vintage Voices 2009 and 2010 anthologies, NorthBay biz magazine, the Noe Valley Voice, and the original San Francisco Examiner. Laura also heads the editorial department of a trade publication covering the electronic payments industry. 

Website: www.lauramchaleholland.com



Journaling for Memoir Writers—A Short Course in Writing Deeply

Member Teleseminar with Amber Lea Starfire

May 18, 2012

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

We write before knowing what to say and how to say it, and in order to find out, if possible. ~ Jean-Francois Lyotard ~

Journaling can support your memoir writing in so many ways. We are happy to present our guest Amber Lea Starfire for our May 18 National Association of Memoir Writers Teleseminar for a short course in giving your writing more depth and power using journaling techniques.

Writers have always kept journals for a variety of reasons—recording life events, personal growth, healing, and stream of consciousness writing. Do you have a closet full of journals or boxes in storage? Many of us have kept our journals, and may look at journaling as something we do to just get things off our chest. But there are many uses for journaling, according to journal expert, writing coach, and author of Week by Week—A Year’s Worth of Journaling Prompts & Meditations.

Amber will teach us ways to use our journals that will guarantee to keep them on our bookshelves as terrific reference materials for memoir.

During the teleseminar you’ll learn how to use your journal as a tool

  • For identifying the important moments of your life
  • Accessing deep memories
  • Writing lyrically
  • Developing scenes, characters, and sensory  descriptions
  • Reflecting upon the impact and meaning of your life events

And more.

Amber Lea Starfire is a writer, editor, and teacher with a passion to help others tell their stories, make meaning of their lives, and access their inner wisdom and creativity through writing. Author of Week by Week—A Year’s Worth of Journaling Prompts & Meditations, her work has also appeared in Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother, Enchanted Spirit, the Conscious Mind Journal, Inner Sanctum, and Voice of Adoptees. Visit Amber’s website, www.writingthroughlife.com.

 This teleseminar is a free benefit for members of the National Association of Memoir Writers. If you want to know more about membership, please click here.


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