Upcoming Workshops and Classes

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.

Memoir Writing Roundtable | Naomi Rose: The Riches and Rewards of Writing a Memoir

At NAMW this month, we are so happy to welcome Naomi Rose, author of MotherWealth: The Feminine Path to Money. Naomi is a coach, author, publisher, and wise woman who will talk with us about the value and importance of writing our stories. Here is what she has to say about her presentation:

A memoir can be a way not only to make sense (and even art) of your life, but it also can so anchor your relationship to the deeper strata of your true existence that, years later, re-reading your book can align you with your most essential being. This was my experience writing MotherWealth: The Feminine Path to Money—and also reading it, again and again, over the years. I found that the directness and honesty of what I had written in a time of great vulnerability later anchored me to what was real, just by re-reading what I’d written. Interestingly, the subject of the book—the relation between money and the Feminine way of being—is even more widely appropriate now, in our spiritual and economic times.


Date: May 10, 2012

Time: 4 PM PDT; 5 PM MDT; 6 PM CDT; 7 PM EDT

How to Sign Up: You can sign up at the bottom of this page.  Only people who sign up will receive the audio download after the event.


What participants will learn from our discussion


About writing a memoir:

  • Writing a memoir about a trying time in one’s life can bring forth the gifts of that time into your awareness—both while writing, and afterwards (as was my experience writing MotherWealth)
  • The gifts gleaned through writing about a trying time can be so ongoingly real that even later, when the crisis has passed, the wisdom from that time that’s recorded in the book remains to teach you, remind you, whisper you home. 
  • Vulnerability, which is pretty much avoided in our culture, is necessary for deep writing (and deep living); and writing about a vulnerable time in a willing, open-hearted way is not only good for the soul’s healing, it is also a prayer that resounds throughout space and time. There are surprisingly compassionate gifts that arise from the willingness to be vulnerable in writing.
  • Our life, if told with compassion, honesty, and beauty, is a gift to others as well as ourselves.


About money and the inner life:

  • As far as money and wealth are concerned, we need the feminine way to guide us into true prosperity. If we only follow the external, patriarchal model, we may end up with money, but not with our inner wealth—which is really what we seek, and is our connection to infinite spirit.
  • We have within us, especially as women, inner wealth that only rises to consciousness when we make room for it. This inner wealth, which often goes against the current of our existing culture, connects us to our true nature, which completely supports us. To get to this “MotherWealth” place, it helps to connect with our mothers (in life or in spirit), and to the Divine Mother. Then, from a place of presence, we can receive the outer manifestations of this inner wealth.



Naomi Rose is a writer, book developer, and publisher in Oakland, CA.  The creator of a unique approach to writing, “Writing from the Deeper Self,” she works with first-time book writers to help them bring forth the books of their hearts. MotherWealth was the first in her series on Money & the Inner Life (the current book is a revised edition). She is a featured book-writing columnist on Creativity Portal, and the publisher of Rose Press. 

You can visit Naomi online at:  www.essentialwriting.com    www.rosepress.com     www.motherwealth.com



Memoir Writers Workshop | Story Crafting: Tools, and Techniques for Success

Memoir writers need to be consummate storytellers, grabbing for our craft toolbox the techniques that make all stories great: well rounded characters, an interesting plot, scintillating scenes that make us feel, see, smell and taste. We have to translate our inner world of  memory to that of story.

At NAMW, we are so pleased to offer this workshop on Story Crafting with our own popular teacher, Jerry Waxler.

Teleclass 4 weeks starting April 23, 2012

Mondays, April 23, 30, May 7, May 14 2012


90 minute workshop

Fee:  Members – $69     Non-Members – $79

To tell your story in a memoir, you need to become a storyteller. In this four session teleclass, Jerry Waxler will explain the structure of a story, and show you how to weave your life experience into this structure, by finding the dramatic tension, character arc, and beginning, middle, and end. You will learn how to transform a lifetime of unstructured memories into a world that readers don’t want to leave.

What you will learn

  • Importance of a protagonist and how you will become one in your memoir
  • The importance of the inner as well as the outer story
  • How to set up the beginning of a story so the reader wants to know the end
  • How to energize the middle so it drives the reader to the next page
  • How to create a satisfying ending to your  memoir
  • How to turn your life lessons into a crucial element of a good story


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, 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, is on the faculty at Northampton Community College and on the advisory panel of the National Association of Memoir Writers.

Blog: Hundreds of Essays for Memoir Writers and Readers
Home Page: JerryWaxler.com



NAMW Members  $69   
Non-Members     $79  

Spring 2012 Writing a Healing Memoir/Spiritual Autobiography Workshop

Spiritual Autobiography and Healing Memoir Workshops led by Linda Joy Myers, President of National Association of Memoir Writers.


New Memoir Workshops starting in March and April!

You may not see your memoir as healing or spiritual, but these terms refer to the amazing process that all memoir writers go through when writing and reflecting on their lives. It does not have to mean a terrible childhood or any particular trauma, though these aspects of life touch many of us in some way.

Writing a memoir is fun, challenging, and meaningful. There is great freedom in expressing the unexpressed. It is a journey and you need companions. See my article on the journey of memoir writing here.

Some of the questions I’m asked about my online/teleworkshops.

  • What is a spiritual autobiography?  It is a memoir? Does it have to be religious?

A spiritual autobiography/healing memoir is a way to explore who you are, your philosophy of life, your journey through life. It is more than “What I did on my summer vacation” though any work can have humor and irony in it. Writing a memoir is to encounter meaning, your thoughts and feelings about life. Mark Matousek said in one of our member teleseminars, “All memoirs are spiritual memoirs.”

  • Can you write a healing memoir and still get published?

Everyone’s first draft, initial encounter with memoir involves reflecting on the past, and many people find this immensely cathartic and helpful in putting things into perspective. Any memoir teacher who has actually written their own memoir—not all have done this—will tell you that it is a surprising and an amazing journey that opened up worlds of insight and healing for them. It’s helpful to have a guide for your journey someone who has written memoir and who understands the process of finding the threads of truth and bringing them to the light.

  • Where do I begin?

A whole life is overwhelming and complex. We are all complex! To write a memoir can feel so daunting people don’t start. Starting is simple: start with the major stories that speak to you, the memories that flood your mind as you think about your life. Think about the lessons you learned, the teachers and loved ones who affected you the most. Write a character sketch about them. Write about the most important day of your life. Here is one of the tools I use in the class that can help you figure out where to begin. Xxxxxxxx

  •   Can I really write the truths that I need to explore—it’s kind of scary.

Writing your truths one at a time is a way to keep this manageable. Just listen to your own inner voice and don’t listen to the inner critic. In the workshop we work with the inner critic and help keep it at bay. We support you in your quest for truth.

  • Will you help me find out if what I’m writing is interesting to other people?

Almost everyone begins with doubt. The purpose of the workshop is to help YOU see your story as the jewel that it is, and to support you in your writing life to WRITE!

  • How does the online Teleworkshop work?

We gather once a week on the phone, and send our work out to class members weekly through email. The feedback is supportive as well as full of useful writing techniques and tips. I am the guide and help the group honor and support each other’s emotional journey as well as learning writing techniques and developing your voice and your courage.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have other questions please email me lindajoy@namw.org

The NEXT Monday Workshop begins April,  2, 2012

1 PM PST | 2 PM MST | 3 PM CST | 4 PM EST

TUESDAY Begins March 27

 3 PST | 4 PM MST |  5 PM CST | 6 PM EST


How it Works

Write your story for that week, and email it to the workshop members. Write your feedback to each participant, and email it to all of us. Weekly conference calls are audio taped so you can listen to feedback later and keep learning. Handouts are sent by email.

The Goal of our Workshops

 The goal of these workshops is to deepen your progress with your memoir, and to develop fictional techniques such as dialogue, scenes, point of view and structure. Developing new writing skills and getting support for your ongoing learning is a good reason to take an online workshop. Perhaps you have written some vignettes and now are ready for feedback.
Writers work alone, and eventually need to find out what others think of our work. You might have been journaling for a long time, but now you are ready to put your memories into story form, whether for your own personal satisfaction or to create a legacy for your family.

In these workshops we send the stories and feedback to the whole group through email, then gather at the appointed time through a conference call to discuss the stories, develop the ideas and questions that have arisen during the week, and talk about new techniques as needed. We offer supportive feedback to help you develop your work. It is not a critique group, but a workshop that helps you to keep writing and offers help in understanding both the content of the stories as well as new techniques to develop your skills.

You receive the audio tape these calls to help you remember the feedback and discussion.


The following ideas are part of the workshop sessions:

  • What is one of your favorite stories? Would you like to develop it further?
  • What time frame have you covered in your early vignettes? Place them on the timeline to get a visual image of the quilt of your memoir.
  • Character sketches: Choose some of the people you have sketched and create a more complete scene with them. Learning about scene writing is ongoing.
  • Do you struggle with writing your truth?
  • Learn about quilting your vignettes into a larger work.
  • Does your inner critic bother you? Learn new techniques to help silence the inner critic.
  • Write about landscapes and places that are part of your soul.
  • Editing: We teach you gently how to become your own editor.
  • Revision—means “seeing again.” Writing means revision, an important skill as you grow as a writer.
  • Organization: we will discuss how to organize and keep track of your vignettes. This is an important part of ongoing writing.
  • Plot, showing, telling, and reflection in memoir.
  • What’s the heart of your story? Do you know your themes? These become clearer as you write.


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Testimonials for this workshop:

Re-membering through memoir writing patched together important pieces of myself long ago forgotten or abandoned. After several rounds of classes under Linda Joy Myers’ priceless guidance, all of me is finally snuggled well into my body, mind, and spirit. Prior to Linda Joy’s memoir classes, I never would have called myself a writer, Now, I can say with pride and certainty that I am indeed, a writer.

—-Author Dawn Novotny 


Linda Joy is an inspirational mentor who truly makes a difference and convinces you to believe in yourself and your story…..Linda Joy always provides compassionate and meaningful support and expert guidance and direction.

—-Author Kathy Pooler

“Through a string of semester long writing sessions, Linda Joy’s coaching has served as an invaluable service for me.  As an absolutely frustrated and floundering memoir writing novice, she continually guided me into a productive direction through teaching the art of writing.  In addition, listening to her frequent teleseminars with established memoirists and other writing coaches, has also, in some way, led me to the next stepping stone. 
Thank you, Linda Joy, for imparting your patience and knowledge to this
formerly frustrated and floundering writer.”

–Lisa Mae DeMasi


If you have questions or need more details, please email customersupport@namw.org .  We’re happy to assist you!


Memoir Writing: 5 Techniques to Get Unstuck and Get in the Flow | Free Roundtable Discussion March 8, 2012


Brooke Warner, Senior Editor at Seal Press, and Linda Joy Myers, President of NAMW are opening up a discussion about techniques that help you get unstuck–ways to conquer the walls that rise up to impede our memoir journey.

As memoirists, we know how writing is a long journey, with many different phases. Understanding these phases in the writing process is important—writing and creating an art form is all about process, not just the goal.

Most writers we work with in our coaching and teaching find themselves struggling to get writing on the page, to create a regular writing life, and to manage the voice of creativity vs. the inner critic. In this discussion, we will discuss these challenges and their solutions so you can start to get into a flow with your writing—and so you can finish the book you want to write!

Bring your questions and problems to the call!

We will discuss:

  •       Why you need to outline
  •       How freewriting helps you stay in the flow
  •       Reasons to write 500 words a day—and how you can do it
  •       How to keep the inner critic out of the way
  •       How to create a workable system for scene, narration, and themes

Brooke Warner is a Senior Editor at Seal Press and a writing coach and publishing consultant with thirteen years’ experience in book publishing. She helps writers through the completion of their book proposals and manuscripts. She offers writing coaching and professional publishing consulting to a broad range of clients who are looking to build their author platforms, better understand the complicated world of publishing, and get published. Brooke works with novelists, memoirists, screenplay writers, poets, and artists.

Read more about Brooke and Warner Coaching at www.warnercoaching.com

Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., MFA, is the President and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, an Instructor at Writers Digest, Co-President of the Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco branch, and past president of the California Writers Club, Marin branch. Linda is the author of The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, Becoming Whole, and Don’t Call Me Mother, which won the BAIPA Gold Medal prize. Linda’s next book is Truth or Lie: On the Cusp of Memoir and Fiction. She gives workshops nationally, through NAMW, Story Circle, and the Therapeutic Writing Institute, and helps people capture their stories through coaching, editing, and online workshops.   Blog:        http://memoriesandmemoirs.com


Roundtable discussions are free to all! Please sign up below to receive the audio download link.

March 8, 2012

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

Conference Dial-in Number: (605) 475-4000

Participant Access Code: 225733#




 March 8, 2012 Roundtable

Brooke Warner & Linda Joy Myers

Free to All

Everyone who signs up will receive an audio download of the event.

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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