Updates

Your Brain on Ink: Writing and Neurobiology

Kathleen-Adams

Date: January 23, 2015

Kathleen-AdamsTime: 11 AM PST  12 PM MST  2 PM CST  3 PM EST

Guest Speakers: Kay Adams and Deborah Ross

If you are a member, log-in to get the call information or listen to the recording. If you are not a member, join today to get full membership benefits.

We’re so pleased to start the new year with a member teleseminar that addresses some of the basic realities of how “story” lives inside us, and how your brain and your writing are connected. It’s our job as writers to learn how to create the magic of story by understanding how to create a story world where your readers can feel and sense it fully. That’s the intersection between writing and neurobiology. So join us for a fascinating conversation that will help you bring your writing to another level.

Did you know that you can enrich the transformative power of story simply by using your attention as a spotlight? Or that creativity does, in fact, favor a relaxed mind? Or that you can use writing to shift the brain’s Velcro bias for negativity? Join two leaders of the writing-as-healing movement to discuss how the neurobiology of expressive writing can unlock more of the powerful storyteller within you.

You’ll learn:
• How writing from the senses brings memory alive
• Why meaning-making through writing is healing
• How writing can help you build resilience
• The role of attention and intention in shaping new neural pathways

Deborah RossDeborah Ross LPC, CJT studied neuroscience at the Mindsight Institute with Dr. Dan Siegel and applied her findings to therapeutic writing. An avid journaler, she recognizes the healing power of expressive writing and believes that this practice can change the way our brains work so that we experience a deeper sense of well-being and great resilience. Deborah is a licensed psychotherapist and a certified journal therapist (Therapeutic Writing Institute). Her first book, Your Brain on Ink, is a workbook co-authored with Kay Adams and will be released Fall 2015.

Kathleen (Kay) Adams LPC is the founder/director of the Center for Journal Therapy and its professional training division, the on-line Therapeutic Writing Institute. She is the author/editor of ten books on therapeutic writing, including the best-selling Journal to the Self and Expressive Writing: Foundations of Practice. In an internet poll, Kay was listed (with Anais Nin and Anne Frank) as one of the three top influencers in personal writing.

If you are a member, log-in to get the call information or listen to the recording. If you are not a member, join today to get full membership benefits.

The Changing Landscape of Memoir

castle

Remains of 14th century castle in England

Many of you know that the National Association of Memoir Writers and Write your Memoir in Six Months appeared in the New York Times last week in an article about the value of memoir writing. In the Retirement section on Saturdays in the Times, the columnist offers articles of interest to retirees. This week her focus was about the importance of memoir writing for elders and their families as a way to share family stories, and a way to get people to contemplate the meaning of their lives and their legacy. Brooke Warner and I were so pleased that our student in the Write Your Memoir in Six Months workshop, Bob Finertie, was featured in the article, and Bob himself was found in a daze of pleasure and shock that he was featured and photographed.

Mr. Finertie, of Walnut Creek, Calif., said it “has been a healing journey that has helped me reach so many things in my past. My wife says I have never been happier.”

To come up with a draft, which is now 100 pages, Mr. Finertie enrolled in online courses with the writing coach Brooke Warner. She, along with Linda Joy Myers, a Berkeley, Calif., psychologist, teaches “Write Your Memoirs in Six Months.”

Mr. Finertie said the classes helped him focus on the purpose of his memoir and connected him to other aspiring memoirists for inspiration and feedback. (From the article)

Naturally, we were jazzed to be “discovered” in the Google search, but it wasn’t too long ago that memoir writers suffered at the slings and arrows that appeared in a New York Times article by Neal Genzlinger who degraded the importance of memoir, and suggested that we should shut up since we’re focused on “Me,” on only ourselves and our lives, and not contributing to any meaningful literature.

During that same era, various agents and publishers predicted that memoir writing was “dead,” and that people simply needed to forget about it as a valid genre. Though some agents and publishers still hold this view, it’s a less powerful position now since the publishing world has changed so much. Writers have more power to share their stories with the world without encountering as many gatekeepers and barriers to publication. It’s important that publishing be taken seriously however, with writers doing their best to find out the appropriate professional presentation for their book. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to hire a tough editor and professional book designers so you can be proud of your book when it comes out, so it matches in professionalism the best of the books presented in the marketplace.

We are celebrating here at the National Association of Memoir Writers that memoir writers have been elevated as valid and acceptable in those pages three years after the Genzlinger article. Too often memoirists have been relegated to the bottom of the heap because we use “I” too often, or because we are digging around in the rich earth of our psyches uncovering the treasures of new insights and memories that offer a new lens through which to look at our lives. Most of you know that I have been a therapist for many years, and to me, the rewards for such digging are invaluable. Through writing our stories, we learn about ourselves in ways we never would have without writing and exploring the past this way. By applying the skills of craft to our memories and insights by creating believable characters, scenes, and a universal understanding or takeaway of the themes of our lives, we transform not only ourselves but potentially our readers—whether they are our family and friends, or new friends in the reading public.

We’re in the New York Times! | October Newsletter

IMG_1765

October 15, 2014

11retiring-pic2-articleLargeWe’re in the New York Times!

Did you see the article mentioning the National Association of Memoir Writers in the New York Times this week? The article about memoir writing appears in the October 11 edition in the retirement section—but as many of you know, memoir writing is for everyone, not only retirees. The columnist, Elizabeth Olsen, contacted me a few weeks ago, curious to learn more about memoir writing and asked how many people are interested in it, and how writing a memoir helps them in their lives. She found us through Google, which is great news.

 

Though one of the themes of her article was about retirees writing their life stories, the article goes beyond that as it discusses the importance for people to capture their story—for their own satisfaction as well as a gift and resource for their family. My colleague Brooke Warner was also interviewed and offered some terrific tips!

 

Here they are—thank you, Brooke, for sharing these with us.Brooke-2014

Brooke, founder and president of Warner Coaching, offers five tips for writing a memoir.

FIND A WRITING PARTNER and notify him or her by email when you start the day’s writing and when you sign off for the day — no matter whether you get an answer.

JOT DOWN ALL YOUR EXCUSES for not writing or not writing as much as you want to.

PAY YOURSELF FOR SHOWING UP to your writing sessions, even small amounts that you can later set aside to treat yourself or use to pay your writing business, if you have one; write the payment off as a business expense.

KEEP A DAILY JOURNAL on your progress. Record the date and time that you begin, how long you will work and what you will focus on. When you are finished for the day, evaluate your progress by noting how you felt about what you accomplished and, more objectively, how many words you wrote. Then, write down your goals for tomorrow.

TURN OFF your Internet, email and phone.

It’s not every day that your name gets in the New York Times, so I’m grateful that people can learn more about NAMW and the power and possibilities for memoir writing.

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October Events at the National Association of Memoir Writers

This month we have two presentations to help you in your writing life. As always, we have a free Roundtable every month, and this week we are going to explore the issue that memoir writers often struggle with: whether to present your life story in a non-fiction memoir, or to expand it as fiction. Sign up for this Roundtable discussion to receive the free audio download afterward as a resource for you to keep.

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October 16, Free Roundtable with Carol Bodensteiner and Mary Gottchalk

october-roundtableTHE BIG DECISION: MEMOIR OR FICTION? 

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

Sign up here.

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October 24 NAMW Member Webinar

Betsy's PR Shot,_edited-1Date: October 24, 2014
Time: 11 am PDT 12 pm MDT 1 pm CDT 2 pm EDT
Expert: Betsy Graziani Fasbinder
Topic: Public Speaking for Writers and Other Introverts: Simple Mindshifts to Raise Your Confidence and Gather Devoted Fans

We’re so pleased to offer this special webinar to help you break out of your shyness and learn to present your new memoir to the world in a professional and confident manner.

The member webinar this month: Public Speaking for Writers and Other Introverts: Simple Mindshifts to Raise Your Confidence and Gather Devoted Fans with Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, an experienced author coach, writer, and prize winning author.

All members will receive the instructions for finding the webinar link and how to join the program. It’s a presentation only format—you will not be on the camera—and neither will we!

 

In this webinar, you will:

• Gather five mental shifts to instantly boost your confidence about public speaking
• Acquire simple tips that can help you connect with listeners
• Gain skills that can help you to be at your natural best in formal presentations, book launches, media interviews, and casual encounters.

To join this webinar learn more about becoming a member here.

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News from our Write Your Memoir Now Retreat

IMG_1765I just got back from a few days in New York City after leading our Write Your Memoir Now retreat with my colleagues Judy Mandel and Jerry Waxler. The landscape by the ocean was amazing, with clear skies and calm seas, except for Saturday when a big rainstorm made us glad we were inside writing!

On Friday night, we greeted the twenty-three people who had signed up for the retreat, learned the themes of their memoir and what they wanted to learn that weekend. We’d spent the afternoon informally getting acquainted over snacks and drinks, so by evening, many had made new writing friends. In a memoir workshop, people get to know each other deeply and intimately because of the nature of what is revealed in their stories. We dig into our lives, our memories, and the stories of our families, revealing many things we would not otherwise share. As always, there were tears, laughter, and sighs of recognition as people wrote and read their stories.

 

retreat-vAs the weekend continued on Saturday and Sunday, the depth and the challenges of each person’s story was revealed. Judy, Jerry, and I alternated the craft of memoir writing with the always present issues of truth, family, and the inner critic, and addressed the challenges that memoir writing presents.

By Sunday afternoon, everyone was tired, and we knew that many layers of stories, hearts, and hopes had been revealed. As people said goodbye, it was clear that several of the group members had become best friends. In my years of teaching of memoir, I’ve seen retreats like this to be a hugely transformative process, one that gives back insights and wisdom. As the weekend ended, many of the writers talked about such a transformation.  NAMW is looking at how, where, and when to offer another retreat next year. Stay in touch!

 

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Breaking Silence Teleconference

 

bysOne thing that was clear in our teaching at the retreat is that all memoir writers struggle with exposing and expressing their truth. They have been silenced for years, and are trying to heal the past as they write their stories. Learning this from yet another memoir group made me glad that we are offering our special Breaking Silence Teleconference in November. If you sign up now, you get the early bird rate and two special bonus gifts.

Hope to see you at the conference!

It’s time to find your voice and break your silence — and write the memoir you want to write! During this day long teleconference, we will be addressing the “secret” issue of shame for writers. We call the voice that creates writer’s block the ”Inner Critic,” but at the core of the Inner Critic is shame and doubt. Please join these amazing women who are willing to share their stories of shame, doubt, and how they have broken through and helped others find their voice. I’m so pleased to have with me at this conference Sue William Silverman, Amy Ferris, Amy Friedman and Brooke Warner.

The talented and courageous presenters of this conference have worked with layers of shame and writing truth in their writing, teaching, and publishing, and have helped many writers find their voices and get their unique and important stories of love, suffering, courage, and trauma out into the world.
Topics and speakers:
  • Confessional and (Finally) Proud of It by Sue William Silverman
  • Awakening to your greatness by Amy Ferris
  • Breaking Open: The Heart of Writing Memoir—Courage and Permission to Write Your Truth by Linda Joy Myers
  • Writing Your Memoir: After the Sorrow and Anger by Amy Friedman
  • Writing Shame and Trauma for Publication—How to Write in the Space between What Happened and What People Can Handle by Brooke Warner

Read more about the conference here.

Breaking Silence Teleconference – Writing the Truth in Memoir

magic book

Friday November 14, 2014

10 AM-4 PM PST

 

magic bookIt’s time to find your voice and break your silence — and write the memoir you want to write! During this day long teleconference, we will be addressing how shame can help to silence our voice. We call the voice that creates writer’s block the ”Inner Critic,” but at the core of the Inner Critic is  doubt and often it’s shame. Please join these amazing women who are willing to share their stories of shame, doubt, and how they have broken through and helped others find their voice. I’m so pleased to have with me at this conference Sue William Silverman, Amy Ferris, Amy Friedman and Brooke Warner.

The talented and courageous presenters of this conference have worked with layers of shame to be a champion of writing the truth in their writing, teaching, and publishing. They have helped many writers find their voices and get their unique and important stories of love, suffering, courage, and trauma out into the world.

Writers need to grow beyond and write past the silencing they have received throughout their lives, a silencing that keeps us from writing our stories, from telling our truths. During this daylong event, the presenters will talk about how shame silences us, and offer you permission to write the stories you have hidden, run away from, and/or denied—to yourself first, and family and friends.

The intent of this conference is to encourage writers to be vulnerable and to take their power back, not to be “small” as Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, says. It’s important to find our voices and our courage to reveal, at first to ourselves, then to the larger world, the truths of our lives. At this conference, we want to use terms like “shame” in a forward-thinking way, instead of hiding it the way society encourages, as Amy Ferris, one of our presenters, has worked to do. We’re putting it on the table and looking at it head on, naming it—which is always the first step in healing and change.

We will discuss the problems we face as people who have been silenced, and how to dare to break through to a new level of Being, voice, and writing.

Reserve Your Spot Today

bys-bonusesNon-members $59 $49. Add to Cart

NAMW members $49 $39.  Add to Cart

After the conference, a recording will be sent to those who purchase.

PLUS if you register now, you will receive two special bonuses “What Made The Glass Castle a Bestseller?” and “Breaking Your Silence – Writing your Truth in Memoir” for FREE. – To be delivered the week of the conference.

 

Sue Silverman

10 am-11 am PST 11 am-12 pm MST 12 pm-1 pm CST 2 pm-3-pm EST

Confessional and (Finally) Proud of It
Sue WilliamSilverman
In this hour, I will discuss the importance of all of our voices. How do we overcome shame and learn to be proud of our stories? How do we discover the courage to tell family secrets…or any secret that remains in darkness? As the author of three memoirs, I’ve learned that each one required me to address a different aspect of the shame inherent in speaking one’s truth. In my first memoir, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, I struggled with the shame of revealing such a personal family secret as incest. In Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, I struggled with the revelations of disclosing secrets about my own sexuality. Then, in The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew, I worried how my own tribe, fellow Jews, would react to a memoir of a Jewish girl who grew up wanting to be Christian. I understand the challenges that every essay, story or memoir presents and encourage a conversation about these issues. I believe there are powerful reasons for all of us to tell our stories anyway.
Why?
• We find redemption through understanding the past
• We find redemption through the organizing principles of writing
• We find redemption through the life force
• We find redemption through helping others to heal
• We find redemption through confession

Sue William Silverman’s new memoir, The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew, is published with the University of Nebraska Press as part of their American Lives Series (series editor Tobias Wolff). Her two other memoirs are Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction a Lifetime television movie, and Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, which won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award in creative nonfiction. Her craft book, Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir, won Honorable Mention in ForeWord Reviews’ book-of-the-year award. As a professional speaker, Sue has appeared on such shows as The View, Anderson Cooper 360, and CNN-Headline News. She teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Please visit www.SueWilliamSilverman.com.

Amy Ferris

11:15 am-12:15 pm PST 12:15-1:15 pm MST  1:15-2:15 pm CST   2:15-3:15-pm EST

Amy Ferris

Awakening to your greatness

Amy Ferris loves inspiring people to write/right their lives. her passion is for everyone to awaken to their greatness. in order to awaken to our greatness, we must be able to look shame and fear and guilt and our deepest uglies in the eye and say, no more. writing those stories, sharing those stories, releasing those stories are so extraordinarily powerful. because once you share them tell them, release them they no longer hold you hostage. this is about transforming all of our scars into stardust, all our flaws & imperfections into glitter, and breaking-through the i am not enough syndrome.

You will learn:
1) that you do in fact have a story that will set you free
2) that you don’t need to be a writer to tell or share your story
3) that you are not alone in your shame, guilt, fear, worry, sadness.
4) that the smallest detail can become an entire book
5) writing/righting your truth takes courage, and courage comes from standing up and saying: this is me, and i am enough

Amy Ferris is an author, screenwriter, essayist, playwright and editor. her memoir, marrying george clooney, confessions from a midlife crisis (seal press) was adapted in an off-broadway play in 2012. she has written films (mr. wonderful, anthony minghella, director and funny valentines, julie dash, director), tv, and has contributed to numerous anthologies, including the one she co-edited, dancing at the shame prom (seal press). she was guest editor-in-chief for two magazine, glossies, where she created the annual all women’s issue. amy lives in pennsylvania with her husband and two cats. she is very content on most days.

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12:30-1:30 pm PST  1:30-2:30 pm MST  2:30-3:30 pm CST   3:30-4:30pm EST

Breaking Open: The Heart of Writing Memoir—Courage and Permission to Write Your Truth

Linda Joy Myers

We have all been silenced in various ways: family rules to not air the family laundry, society’s rules to be quiet unless you have something nice to say, the rules to be “good” which means to be quiet and docile. The rules to keep the secrets in the family or risk losing their approval.

In my work with writers, I hear themes that we call the Inner Critic: “I can’t write that,” they whisper. Or “no one else knows all these things in my memoir—what will happen when they read this?” They feel embarrassed and ashamed of their story and often who they are, the life they lived. Some writers get physical symptoms from digging deep in their memories—headaches, heartaches as they drop into the mind and body of who they were in the past. It’s well known that writing helps to heal, thanks to the studies by Dr. James Pennebaker, but the act of writing for each of us is a moment to moment act of courage, an act of encounter that can free you from your silence.

Coeur, meaning heart, is the root of the word courage, and it’s our heart, our deepest truth that we must write from. Readers want to know who you are in your memoir, and to do that you need to be authentic, to draw from your deepest truths.

In this hour, we will explore what it takes to break open, to write past shame and silence and create a memoir that is heartful and speaks universally to your readers.

We will discuss:
• How to recognize the barriers that silence you
• The studies about how writing heals body and mind
• How “the rules” of silencing are imbedded in our family and social history
• How we learn shame, and how we heal it
• Techniques to help you fully encounter your memoir and write freely

Linda Joy Myers is president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers and a therapist for 35 years. Her memoir Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness is a finalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year Award, a finalist in the IndieExcellence Awards and received Honorable Mention in the New York Book Awards. She’s also the author of three books on memoir writing: The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, Journey of Memoir, and Becoming Whole. Linda co-edited the anthology The Times They Were A’Changing—Women Remember the 60s & 70s, a ForeWord Review Book of the Year finalist. Her fiction, non-fiction, and memoir pieces have been published in literary journals and online. She writes for the Huffington Post, and co-teaches the program Write Your Memoir in Six Months. Linda is a speaker about memoir, healing, and the power of writing the truth, and offers editing, coaching, and manuscript evaluation for writers. Blog: memoriesandmemoirs.com

 

amy great picture in green

1:45-2:45 pm PST    2:45-3:45 pm  MST    3:45-4:45 pm   CST   4:45-5:45pm EST  

Writing Your Memoir: After the Sorrow and Anger

Amy Friedman
Is it possible to get over your desire to scream at certain people whose experiences have deeply hurt you? As a creative writing teacher for over 25 years, focusing on memoir and personal essay for the past 15, I have encouraged writers to overcome their fears and doubts; I’ve encouraged them to slip out of the shadows in their work, to be fearless. I’ve always believed, and have taught my students, that our deepest shame and doubt often turns out to be our greatest strength, and that our secrets can make for powerful stories that resonate powerfully with readers. So when I hit the wall as I was writing my third memoir, Desperado’s Wife, although I was stumped for a long time, I also knew I was onto something.

The story of my marriage to a man I met while he was serving a life sentence in prison, and in the decade-plus during which I fought, coped with, and survived the prison system, I came to realize a number of things: I had a desire to prove something to all those naysayers; I longed to fight back against those who had fired me from jobs, castigated me and my family; I wanted to scream at those who had turned their backs on us. But a scream never encourages listening, as it is seldom beautiful or inspiring to hear (or to read). To write a book that would resonate with others, I had to learn what was beneath that scream, to uncover what secrets I had buried under the fury. Desperado’s Wife took me a decade to write, and in that decade I learned invaluable lessons for uncovering our buried secrets, lessons I’ll share during this hour.

We will discuss:
• Paths to uncovering your subconscious agendas and how they hobble you
• How to distance yourself from fury and sorrow without silencing your deepest truths
• The power of (wise) readers as allies
• What to do about those whose opinions you fear
• How others’ stories can move you beyond (and beneath) your own doubt and shame

Amy Friedman is an author, editor, ghostwriter and creative writing teacher whose most recent books include Desperado’s Wife: A Memoir, a book that led to her appearance on the Katie Couric show and ultimately to her co-creating, with her husband Dennis Danziger, the nonprofit POPS the club (www.popstheclub.com), for high school students whose lives have been touched by prison. Desperado’s Wife is currently being developed as a television series, and Amy’s most recent book, One Souffle at a Time: A Memoir of Food and France, co-authored with Anne Willan, will be released in paperback in 2014. Amy’s articles, essays and stories have appeared in magazines, newspapers and numerous anthologies, and since 1992 she has written Tell Me a Story, a weekly story for children syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate that has spawned three books and three award winning CDs. Amy teaches memoir at UCLA Extension, The Skirball Cultural Arts Center, Idyllwild School of the Arts and in private workshops. For more see her website www.amyfriedman.net.

 

Brooke-2014

3-4 pm PST  4-5 pm MST   5-6pm CST   6-7 pm EST

Writing Shame and Trauma for Publication—How to Write in the Space between What Happened and What People Can Handle

Brooke Warner

In my fourteen years in the publishing industry—eight of those as an Executive Editor at Seal Press, a women’s press that makes it a point to publish women’s issues, including works of trauma—I was honored to have had the opportunity to work with many courageous authors who risked a lot to tell their truths. It’s something you have to weather and brave; yet it feels extra hard when you’re baring your soul about issues that you’ve long kept secret, issues that took years to see the light of day.

Writing shame and trauma for publication requires some distance on the part of the writer. Many aspiring writers believe that the more outrageous their story is, the more likely it is to be published. But this is not true. I call this the “Trauma Olympics,” and I will talk about why trying to trump someone else’s trauma never makes for good writing. What matters most is your authenticity and willingness to “walk the radical edge,” as David Whyte so eloquently talks about. Where writing trauma and shame are concerned, you may experience internal discomfort, mental discord, and even physical symptoms. This is common. But unfortunately, the publishing industry doesn’t care.
If you want to publish, you have to dig deep, but you can’t be self-pitying; you have to show all, without being too graphic; you have to show the underbelly of what happened, yet remain somewhat dispassionate.

So how the hell does anyone actually do this? In this hour I’ll share successful memoirs that have done trauma and shame well, and why they’ve succeeded. We’ll also cover how to be self-aware enough in your own writing to appeal to an audience, and how to know if you’re ready for publication, and what to do if it turns out you’re not (hint: it doesn’t mean you stop writing).

In this hour you will learn:
• How to write authentically, yet keep the reader in mind
• How to walk the “radical edge”
• How to expose your deepest truths yet avoid the “Trauma Olympics”
• How successful memoirists expose their trauma and shame
• Techniques for self-awareness as you prepare for publication

Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of What’s Your Book? and How to Sell Your Memoir. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing, and she is an equal advocate for publishing with a traditional house and self-publishing. She sits on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). Her website was selected by The Write Life as one of the Top 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2014. She lives and works in Berkeley, California.

Reserve Your Spot Today

bys-bonusesNon-members $59 $49. Add to Cart

NAMW members $49 $39.  Add to Cart

After the conference, a recording will be sent to those who purchase.

After you sign up you will receive the conference call-in instructions.

PLUS if you register now, you will receive two special bonuses “What Made The Glass Castle a Bestseller?” and “Breaking Your Silence – Writing your Truth in Memoir” for FREE. – To be delivered the week of the conference.

What is Ahead of Us | September Newsletter

waters_edge_2It’s autumn, and it feels as if school has started for memoir writers, along with all the school children! My workshops have started with seven eager students in the Writing a Healing/Spiritual Memoir workshop. We had a lovely reunion after some took the summer off and we moved right into the joys and challenges of writing the truth, of grabbing memories by the throat and taking a risk to drop them on the page to turn into stories. It’s an act of faith, this writing, and a group makes it a bit easier. We support each other and talk through the tough stuff. Oh, and we laugh a lot too.

Next week I’m flying to New York, and then taking the train to Connecticut, which should be showing off its colors. The first annual National Association of Memoir Writers retreat is meeting at the Water’s Edge Resort on Long Island Sound—my first time in Connecticut and in this lovely setting.

We are so pleased to have a great group of people coming to write and learn and talk about stories all weekend. Jerry Waxler, Judy Mandel and I have been planning the retreat since March, and now it’s finally here! We asked for stories from the participants about what they are writing and what they want to take away with them at the retreat, and now we’re even more inspired! They are bringing up the Big Questions about memoir writing, and we’ll do our best to help answer them.

Some Big Questions have to do with structure—a common problem that memoir writers need to solve—after all, once you have lived the stories, it’s hard to stand back and be objective about what goes where, what to leave in and what to take out. We will spend a lot of time talking about the craft of memoir writing—what makes a great scene, the arc of the narrative, how to create characters that live and breathe on the page—even if they are/were your family.  Memoir writers always need to discuss the complexities of writing the truth, and their worries about what the family will say when the find out about the memoir. We will talk about breaking the silences that stop us from writing and confronting the inner critic. We will talk about writing, and more writing and not giving up.

Another Big Question has to do with how to be published. With so many choices now, and fewer large publishers to choose from, it’s a challenge for even very experienced writers to figure out what path to take. We will discuss all the ways to be published, from self-publishing to traditional, and all the new hybrid ways in between. There will be lectures and writing groups and private mentor consultations all weekend.

Afterward, I’m going to New York to celebrate that great city, the art, the zip and jazz, Greenwich Village, Central Park, and see the Carol King musical “Beautiful” with Judy! I am also taking my laptop so I can work on the two books I’m writing, another memoir and a how-to book, title to be shared some time in the new year.

We are planning to offer the retreat again next year, so if you aren’t able to come now, we’ll miss you, but stay tuned for future announcements and early bird sign-ups.

Keep writing! We’ll send photos and news about the retreat in the October newsletter.

In the meantime, join us for our September member webinar—this time we are using the webinar format  for our presentation so you can see what makes a great—and a not so great—book cover. We want to urge you to take seriously that people—and bookstores and reviewers—DO judge a book by its cover and how to avoid the pitfall of a bad cover that won’t show off your book the way it needs to be. It’s a journey when you write a book to learn the professional standards of the industry so you can shine!


 

September Member- Only Webinar

We DO Judge a Book by Its Cover - Secrets You Don’t Know About Cover Design with Michele De Filippo and Sonia Marsh
FridaySeptember 26, 2014 11 AM PDT/2 PM EDT

This is a WEBINAR, not our usual member teleseminar. On this webinar, we are excited to present photos of good and not so good book designs, to teach you what works and what doesn’t in the publishing world. Please join us!
Log-in if you are a member to get the call information.
If you want to attend, but are not a member click here to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member.

Early Bird Pricing for Breaking Silence, and Low Low price for NAMW Members

bys-bonusesBreaking Your Silence Teleconference

November 14, 2014

Join us for 6 hours of amazing presentations by women who have walked the walk. The conference will be recorded if you are unable to attend. Sign up today.

If you register now, you will receive early bird pricing PLUS two bonus eBooks! This conference will address the issues that memoirists deal with constantly- how to find your voice and break the silences that plague our deep writing!

 

It’s time to find your voice and break your silence — and write the memoir you want to write! During this day long teleconference, we will be addressing the “secret” issue of shame for writers. We call the voice that creates writer’s block the ”Inner Critic,” but at the core of the Inner Critic is shame and doubt. Please join these amazing women who are willing to share their stories of shame, doubt, and how they have broken through and helped others find their voice. I’m so pleased to have with me at this conference Sue William Silverman, Amy Ferris, Amy Friedman and Brooke Warner.

Learn more here!


Roundtable for October

Date: October 16, 2014
Time: 4 PM PDT / 7 PM EDT
Experts: Mary Gottschalk and Carol Bodensteiner
Topic: The Big Decision: Memoir or Fiction?
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!

Next Free Roundtable

To learn more click here.

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

Testimonials

Myers makes a compelling case for the power of words as a form of healing and growth.
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professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal