Workshops & Classes

Public Speaking for Writers and Other Introverts | Skills Memoir Writers Need

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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 is 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.

Writers are natural storytellers, of course. While they’re comfortable conveying their stories on the page, and often with other people in their familiar circles, the idea of getting up in front of a roomful of onlookers to talk about their story or themselves can feel daunting.

Authors spend a lot of time, energy, and money building their platforms for promoting their books, but they often forget about what the platform is there to support: themselves. Being able to speak comfortably to a listening audience whether it’s at a book launch, a reading, a media interview, or a networking event is perhaps the most crucial element of the writer’s platform.

This teleseminar is meant to help writers to learn a few mind-shifts and simple skills to instantly boost their confidence and increase their effectiveness when speaking in public—whether it’s to an audience of five or five hundred. Readers (and potential readers) come to book events to connect with authors. When they’re able to connect with you, these readers become not only buyers, but super-fans who help to sell your books.

Betsy helps clients to be at their at their natural and most comfortable best in front of an audience by helping them to see public speaking not as a “gift” but as a set of learnable skills and to develop confidence and presence.

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.

If you are a member, log-in to listen to the recording.


As a life-long writer, a psychotherapist for over two decades, and trainer of communications skills, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder’s professional life is about communicating ideas and matters of the heart with clarity and passion.

She coaches writers (and other introverts) to become dynamic, engaging public speakers, and has taught clients in Fortune 500 Companies, politicians, entertainers, business leaders, and authors internationally. Betsy’s debut novel, Fire & Water, published by She Writes Press, was released in 2013. It received a Silver Medal in the Wishing Shelf Book Award, an honorable mention in the New York and Los Angeles Book Festivals, and was released as an audiobook in 2014. Several of Betsy’s memoir pieces have been produced as Readers’ Theater in Nevada City, CA. Betsy lives in Marin County with her husband, and Edgar, her salt-and-pepper doodle.



Date: October 16, 2014

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

Listen to the Download of the Call

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Mary Gottschalk Bio

Mary has made a career out of changing careers. She spent nearly thirty years in the financial markets, working with Fortune 500 corporations in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Central America, and Europe. She dropped out in the mid-1980’s to embark on the multi-year sailing voyage that is the subject of her memoir, Sailing Down the Moonbeam. The key message of her memoir is that you grow the most when you step outside of your comfort zone.

Continuing to work with that theme, Mary published her first novel, A Fitting Place, in May, 2014. She blogs regularly on the experience of being outside your comfort zone. She is also a freelance writer and professional editor.


Bodensteiner 4C HR

Carol Bodensteiner Bio

Carol finds inspiration in the places, people, culture and history of the Midwest. After a successful career in public relations consulting, she turned to creative writing. Carol’s childhood on a family farm in the middle of the United States in the middle of the 20th century provided grist for her memoir, Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl. Having stepped 50 years back in history with her memoir, writing her debut novel Go Away Home set in Iowa during WWI was a logical next step. Carol blogs about writing, her prairie, gardening, and whatever in life interests her at the moment. Her essays have been included in a number of anthologies.

Free Memoir Webinar: What Made Angela’s Ashes a Bestseller?

Angela's Ashes

 Angela's Ashes

Tuesday: September 30

  • 4:00PM – 5:00PM Pacific

  • 5:00PM – 6:00PM Mountain
  • 6:00PM – 7:00PM Central

  • 7:00PM – 8:00PM Eastern

Sign up here

To purchase the 4 week class click here.

Angela’s Ashes… you know, it’s the Irish story, the “miserable Irish childhood” that Frank McCourt would talk about with tongue in cheek–and how we miss you Frank! For those of us who fell in love with this book, we know that Angela’s Ashes, the first of his two memoirs–they were really one book for a while–is beloved by so many people, a book that we laugh with and cry with, and read over and over again. And oh, we see the movie too!

Brooke Warner and I have been teaching New York Times Best Sellers–Wild, Eat, Pray, Love, and The Glass Castle for the last year, and it was time, we decided, to teach a memoir by a male writer. We sent out a survey and Angela’s Ashes won by a landslide.

As memoir coaches, we had to ask some pithy questions for this Free webinar about McCourt’s Pulitzer prize winning book:

Why is Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes one of the most beloved memoirs of all times?

How did McCourt manage to write about the horrors of his upbringing while still delivering a universal message?

What can we learn from his story that will help us with our own memoir in progress?

The art of balancing his heartbreaking story with being able to deliver to all of us something valuable is part of what we will be examining during this hour-long webinar. Every memoir strives to do this, so it is important to learn how the best memoir writers pull it off to great acclaim. Not all of us may write a best seller–though we can strive to create  a book that is that good and with such a universal message–but we all can learn the techniques that help us to create the very best memoir we can write. Please join us for an exploration of Angela’s Ashes, and discover new insights about your memoir writing!


Please join us for the free webinar!

Writing a Healing Memoir/Spiritual Autobiography Workshop—6 Session Summer 2014

linda-joy-myerswith Linda Joy Myers

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. ~Shirley Abbott

In this workshop, we silence the noise of everyday life and dig into memories, tune into writing our stories, and learn the skills needed to write a satisfying memoir—to get all the way to “The End.”

It’s important to write freely without worrying about your inner critic or being published just yet—though that may be your ultimate goal. In order to get your memoir done, you need to feed your creative spirit, and have accountability to help get your stories on the page in a first draft.

The workshop:

  1. Send that week’s story to your classmates through email.
  2. Workshop members read and write feedback through email—reflecting on what works; offering feedback about what could be different or clarified.
  3. At class time, we gather by phone to talk about the stories—discussing what comes up as you write, your inner critic, doubts and dreams about your stories, and questions about structure. Find out in person on the call what you want to know from the group that will help you continue and develop your work.
  1. I guide the group, offer writing tips, and teach techniques that help you keep writing and learn how to grow as a writer.

Six sessions this summer, to keep your writing going!

Member Price: $250.00

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Non-Member Price: $260.00

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Finding Your Voice in Memoir | Memoir Intensive TeleWorkshop

judymandelA 4-week Memoir Workshop Intensive by Judy L. Mandel  by phone and email

June 10, 17, 24, July 1
4 PST, 5 MST, 6 CST, 7 EST

$125 for non-members

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$110 for members

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Often when we start writing our memoir, we struggle to find our own unique way of telling the story—our voice. It can be as elusive as a shadow, as hard to capture as a dream. Once we find our voice, the way our writing sounds most like our inner self, our story is much easier to shape. Finding the right voice for your memoir is very much like falling in love; hard to describe but powerful.

What you will learn:
• How word choice, cadence, and sentence structure contribute to creating the mood in the world of your memoir
• Not to be afraid to experiment with different ways of writing
• How free-writing can free your inner voice
• How to think about your life in terms of meaningful scenes or vignettes
• How to examine different memoirs in terms of voice, and how to apply that to your own writing

How the class will work
We will have four 60-minute telephone sessions. In each session I will share information that will help you develop your own voice for your memoir. You will also have an assignment for each class that will relate to your memoir development that you will send on to everyone in the class at least a day before our session to give everyone a chance to read it.

We’ll use the second half of the class to comment on each others’ work in a constructive and supportive manner. We will also address your specific issues with defining and using a consistent voice within your memoir. I will also be happy to talk to you individually about your work via email or phone during the duration of the course.

Judy L. Mandel is a workshop leader, writing coach and editor. She is the author of REPLACEMENT CHILD – A MEMOIR (Seal Press, 2013). Judy’s essays and articles have appeared in Connecticut LIFE, ASJA Monthly, Complete Wellbeing Magazine, Connecticut Authors and Publishers Newsletter, and The Southampton Review. Judy is now writing a novel as well as teaching memoir writing as part of  National Association of Memoir Writers.

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.


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