I have been interested in memoir writing all my life. I wrote my earliest pieces in sixth grade, thanks to a tremendous teacher, Jack Delaney, who introduced his students to the world of writing true stories about the experiences we had in our young, young lives.
I graduated from Goucher College with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction, and one of the tracks available to us was memoir writing. Working with writers like Philip Gerard, Lisa Knopp, and Leslie Rubenstein transformed my writing in ways I never imagined possible. More important, though, is the urgency of memoir writing that they instilled in me. We all have stories to tell, traces of our existence experienced exclusively by us. To let those stories go untold loosens the fabric of our generation’s history, our experiences, our lives.
When the larger fabric of our country’s — and our world’s — history is missing the too-many threads of stories untold, we begin to get a tattered picture of what this life is like for all of us. The documentation becomes unbalanced; we look back on generations past and wonder, was it really this one-sided?
We have a need, a responsibility, to tell our true stories, but with that responsibility comes fear, sometimes anxiety — perhaps even dread. What will others think about the things I have experienced? How can I write about the stories that have changed my life when I know I will hurt the ones who once hurt me? What if I put all of this energy and courage into these stories, and then no one reads them?
All good questions that demand even better answers.
If you are interested in writing memoir, and would like to join our closed group of individuals who are exploring the sub-genre and sharing relevant information about writing tips, strategies, reviews, conferences, and publication opportunities, come on over and join us. You can find us on Facebook at
We hope you will join us. Together, we can tighten the fabric of this life we are living, and share with generations yet born what mattered most to us in our lifetimes, and why.