Tag Archives: NAMW

Free Webinar (Monday, April 17): What Made Love Warrior a Best-Selling Memoir?

SIGN UP TO JOIN US for this free one-hour installment of our popular best-seller series.

Monday, April 17th, at 4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

In this hour-long free webinar, Linda Joy and Brooke be exploring memoirs that bare all—and spare no one—using Glennon Doyle Melton’s new memoir, Love Warrior, as a guide. They will address the fears that invariably come up for writers who want to write their deepest truths and expose their most intimate—and often shameful—secrets. The webinar will address the fallouts of such naked writing—and talk about how sharing your truth has a way of both leveling everything and setting you free.

During this Free Webinar You Will Learn:

  1. The hard truths—how to share them, why to share them, and what the consequences are for you, the writer, and the story if you don’t.
  2. Intentional omission. What did Glennon leave out? How did this impact the story and her readers?
  3. How to tackle hard themes, and the balance a memoir must strike when you’re sharing the intimate details of your sometimes-messy life.
  4. Whether the fallout is worth it. A look at the repercussions of writing a memoir, how to determine your tolerance for other people’s reactions, and ways to know whether the timing is right, and if you can weather the possible consequences.

CLICK HERE TO GET MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER! It’s FREE.

Brooke & Linda Joy welcome you!

The Craft of Creating Believable Characters in Memoir

Jordan Rosenfeld 

February Member Teleseminar

February 17, 2017

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

We’re happy that Jordan Rosenfeld will be joining us again to talk about much needed craft issues for memoir writers—creating “characters” in our story, based on people we know. Most memoir writers don’t see that they are not building a character because that person lives in their memory—but the reader can’t see them unless you create and build the character chapter by chapter in your story.

How do you do this—by using character cues such as physical action, dialogue, sensory imagery, internal monologue and analogies. These are techniques that fiction writers use to make their characters believable—people who are not real, but made up, and yet who live in our imagination forever—think Jane Eyre, Mr. Darcey, and David Copperfield. In memoir, Helen MacDonald creates a full character of her hawk, and Cheryl Strayed brings to life herself and her mother, along with the “character” of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Join us for this important webinar by Jordan—she’s been with us before and always delivers powerful and important skills that we as memoir writers need to know.

You will learn:

  1. To understand how to use your point of view consistently to establish yourself as character—you are the protagonist in your own story.
  2. How to use strong character cues so they come alive on the page.
  3. That showing your characters in action is a dynamic way to bring them to life.
  4. How dialogue enriches your characters.

And more… We’ll talk about her book Writing the Intimate Character as a resource for you as you deepen your skills in creating character so they live vividly on the page!

 

Bio

Jordan is author of seven books, most recently: Writing the Intimate Character (Writer’s Digest Books). Her freelance work has appeared in The Atlantic, GOOD, New York Magazine, Scientific American and many more.

Jordanrosenfeld.net

 

 

 

January Roundtable Discussion – FREE to All

Dorit Sasson 

What I Learned about the Courage to Write and Publish my Memoir Accidental Soldier

January 12, 2017 

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

What kind of crazy person would trade college life for serving in the Israel Defense Forces at the tender age of 18? As a dual American-Israeli citizen, I was trying to make my life work as a college student until I realized that if I didn’t distance myself from my neurotic worrywart of a mother, I would become just like her. 

Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces is the story of how I dropped out of college and volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces in an effort to change my life. The story shows that by stepping out of my comfort zone and into a war zone, I discovered courage and faith I didn’t know I was capable of.

As a first-time memoirist, I put myself out into the writing world in many ways, and learned what it takes to come full-circle with the writing and publishing process. I’d love to share the “highs” and “lows” of my journey with you. It is my hope that learning about my wins and successes will give you a road map to see your book as a marketable journey of creativity.

  • It was a challenge to translate some of the “foreign” experiences of serving in the Israel Defense Forces for the United States audience. Through doing this, I discovered that my book was marketable here.
  • I discovered it took courage to build my author platform creatively.
  • I learned the importance of marketing my memoir to a niche audience and what that meant for choosing the right publisher
  • There were unexpected challenges and successes with the publicity and marketing as I did a book tour for my memoir in the United States and in Israel.
  • I’ll discuss how writing my memoir inspired me to support other writers and authors

 

Bio:

Dorit Sasson is a copywriter, content marketing strategist, speaker, and author. She is the founder of “Giving Voice to Your Courage” podcast and website. She mentors authors and writers on how to build a more visible and engaging platform – creatively and with courage! Her groundbreaking memoir Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces is a finalist for the next Generation Indie Book Awards, Best Books USA Awards and Santa Fe Literary Awards. It’s a widely read handbook on how to become more courageous in life.

 

Listen to the recording below:

December Roundtable Discussion – FREE to All

Jill Kandel

The Power of Words: 20 Years of Writing 

December 8, 2016

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

jill-kandelI have been a writer for twenty years and am so excited to talk about some of the many things I have learned. I will be talking about four main areas: My journey into writing, the work of writing, the fear of writing and the power of writing.

Listeners can expect to learn some practical tips on time management and the work of writing. I will talk about overcoming various fears including being too old, getting it wrong, and offending my family. I also would like to speak about the power of writing and the fulfillment joy it has brought to my life.

I began writing at the age of 40. I do not have an MFA. And yet, I have written a memoir that received two awards and have had essays published in top journals across the U.S. I hope listeners will come away from the discussion with both practical tips for improving their writing and a generous heap of encouragement. Writing is hard. But it is also enormously worthwhile.

 

What you will learn in our discussion: 

  • Encouragement for those who are beginning to write later in life
  • Practical tips on time management
  • Ideas on how to improve your writing
  • Advice on the business side of writing and resume building
  • Thoughts on managing the fear of writing
  • Inspiration from the power of writing

 

BIO:

Jill Kandel is a memoirist and essayist. She is the author of: So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village, winner of both the Autumn House Nonfiction Prize and the Sarton Women’s Literary Award in Memoir.

Kandel recently won second place in the Magic of Memoir essay contest. Her writing has been included in several anthologies including The Magic of Memoir (She Writes Press), The Best Spiritual Writing 2013 (Penguin Books) and Becoming: What Makes a Woman 2013 (University of Nebraska Press).

Kandel’s essays have been published in many literary journals including The Missouri Review, The Pinch, The Gettysburg Review, River Teeth Journal, Under the Sun, Image Journal, and Brevity.

For more information visit Jill on her website where she blogs about her writing journey and about living between cultures. She is currently blogging about the Netherlands, WWII and euthanasia, as she prepares to finish her second memoir. www.jillkandel.com

 

Listen to the recording below:

Dipping the Madeleine: How to Find Hidden Memories as You Write Your Memoir

Barbara Donsky

November Roundtable

November 18, 2016

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

We are pleased this month to explore the issue of memory itself, with some inspiration by Marcel Proust and our guest, Barbara Donsky, author of Veronica’s Grave. Her introduction to our November roundtable follows. Remember, it’s National Lifewriting Month, so celebrate by working on your memoir and inviting your memories to play.

________________________________________________________________________

And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray … when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Leonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane …. and the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, town and garden alike, from my cup of tea.

                                                                  —Marcel Proust

After dipping a madeleine in a cup of verbena-infused tea, Proust’s boyhood memories played out before his very eyes. After a few more sips and a few more dips, he transformed his entire life — all that he knew about history, cultural mores, social privilege, art, science, and human nature—into what is arguably the greatest novel of the 20th century. If not a memoir, it’s an autobiographical treatise in the guise of a novel. Dipping the madeleine proved an antidote to the much-dreaded writer’s block.

What Proust stumbled upon was a way to feed the artist within.  And what about you? Have you tried ‘dipping the madeleine,’ found ways to nourish your artist-soul? As memoirists, we are called upon to revisit our earlier selves. To do so, we need something that will trigger the involuntary memories, many of which have lain dormant for years.

When involuntary memories arise, we see the past as if it were the present, according to Proust. And that’s very much how it felt, when I visited the apartment building on Ryer Avenue in the South Bronx where we had lived until my mother died. It was then I could see in mind’s eye the black-and-white octagonal tiles that had been in the bathroom. Feel the silkiness of the tufts on my mother’s chenille bedspread. Hear the music of the Big Bands coming from the radio. Things that I had not thought about in years.  All of which came together to form the opening segment of Veronica’s Grave.

Neuroscientists tell us that our memories are not lost, but contained within the cells of our body. That said, in order for an involuntary memory to surface—to move out of the hippocampus into the realm of consciousness—requires a trigger.

Fortunately, ‘triggers’ can be found everywhere if we are open to them. A trigger could be something as ordinary as a conversation overheard on a street corner. Or the feel of a starchy linen napkin (as was the case for Proust).  For authors juggling the hurried demands of everyday life, it often feels as if there’s little time to collect one’s thoughts, no less to listen to them.

When doing readings and book signings for my book Veronica’s Grave, one of the questions that has come up regularly has to do with my writing schedule and how I managed to find the voice of a young girl.

I will discuss:

  • Strategies for opening the gates to the sub-conscious, and letting involuntary memories rise into consciousness.
  • Rise and Shine!
  • Recharge the synapses
  • Start the Day with Self-Affirmations
  • Write the Morning Pages
  • The Virtues of Longhand
  • Trust the Voice in Your Head

 

Bio

e_037972_150519Barbara Donsky is a native New Yorker born in the South Bronx, a neighborhood that by the ‘70s and ‘80s had become synonymous with urban dysfunction.

Author of the newly-released Veronica’s Grave: A Daughter’s Memoir, she graduated Hunter College magna cum laude; was elected to three honorary societies—Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi and Sigma Tau Delta; and earned a doctoral degree from Hofstra University. Publications include a dissertation Trends in Written Composition in Elementary Schools in the United States, 1890 -1960. Articles in educational journals including “Writing as Praxis” and “Trends in Elementary Writing Instruction”. And a short story— “The Trouble with Harry”—published in the Naples Review in Florida.

A reading specialist with a private practice for school-age children and an adjunct professor at C.W. Post College on Long Island, Barbara served for many years as a trustee, board president, and capital campaign coordinator of the Boys and Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich.

For work done on behalf of the Club, Barbara was named ‘Woman of the Year’ by the Boys and Girls Club and honored by the Township of Oyster Bay for her ‘public-spirited contributions advancing the general welfare of the community.’

Living in Manhattan with her husband, she blogs at https://www.Barbaradonsky.com

 

Listen to the recording below:

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