Express Your Life Experiences

No matter what your life experiences, you can turn them into a great memoir. This 8-week course will show you how.

Online Creative Writing Course: Essentials of Memoir Writing

A memoir is a true story, written by someone who was part of it. Memoirs dominate bestseller lists because readers love them.

By writing a memoir, you can preserve your memories and share your feelings and experiences with others.

In this course, you'll learn how to...

•   find ideas and material for your memoir.

•   recreate your memories on the page in full color.

•   give your memoir a meaningful structure and focus.

•   make your memoir stand out.

Since the course is taught by e-mail, you can learn from anywhere, studying when you have time in your schedule.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN



Lesson 1: Introduction to Memoir Writing
  • What's a memoir?
  • Memoirs versus autobiography.
  • Types of memoirs.
  • Memoir topics and ideas.
  • What makes a memoir interesting.
Lesson 2: Focusing Your Memoir
  • How to make memoir-writing easier.
  • Exercises to generate ideas.
  • How to select the perfect topic.
  • How to make your life an endless source of writing material.
Lesson 3: Making It Unique
  • How to discover what's unique about your experience.
  • How to capture uniqueness on the page.
  • How to choose the right events to include.
  • How to choose the right details to include.
  • Setting and context.
  • How to use research to sharpen your memory.
Lesson 4: Making It Feel Like a Story
  • Options for structuring a memoir.
  • How to use story structure in a memoir.
  • How to use external and internal conflict.
  • How to keep the reader turning pages.
  • How to express theme.
Lesson 5: Using Scenes
  • The difference between summary and scene.
  • How to write your memoir in scenes.
  • How to choose the right scenes to show.
  • How to use summary and transitions.
  • How to deal with gaps in memory.
  • How to weave description into a scene.
Lesson 6: Voice and Perspective
  • How to let your personality shine through in your writing.
  • How to create intimacy with readers.
  • How to share your unique perspective.
  • How to avoid the trap of sentimentality.
Lesson 7: Writing About People
  • How to show character change.
  • Portrait memoirs.
  • How to describe people.
  • How to show people's character.
  • How to deal with ethical issues that may arise.
Lesson 8: Putting It All Together
  • How to create a master plan for your memoir.
  • How to find the perfect beginning.
  • How to write a satisfying ending.
  • How to divide a book-length memoir into chapters.

Bonus Lesson: Revising Your Memoir
  • How to come up with a great title.
  • How to revise your memoir.
  • Revision checklist.


Your teacher
Essentials of Memoir Writing is taught by Nancy Strauss, the Online Courses Director at Creative Writing Now. Nancy has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, where she has also taught creative and expository writing. Nancy Strauss

What you get in the course

Essentials of Memoir Writing includes:

  • eight e-mail lessons (one lesson a week for eight weeks. The first lesson will normally be sent to you within an hour after you confirm your course registration.)
  • weekly exercises included in the lessons
  • the chance to e-mail any questions about the lessons to a writing teacher.*
  • the chance to publish your writing on the class blog.

*Note: Please note that feedback on your writing assignments is not included in this course, which has been designed for self-study. While teachers will be available to answer general questions, they will not be able to read or comment on your memoir.

We guarantee the value of this course. If you change your mind any time during the first 20 days, you can ask for a refund.


Feedback on our Courses



"One of my stories, "Bubble", has been published. If I hadn't taken your course I couldn't even imagine that. Many, many thanks for inspiring me."
     - Rasheed

"I have to say that this course has been really inspiring and it's given my writing a new lease on life."
     - Robin Gott

"I saw that my writing had improved 100%."
     - Jill Gairdner

"The writing exercises are intriguing and practically beg you to get started. The lessons themselves are concise and straight-forward, easy to understand and to apply to your own writing.”
     - Sally Derby

"Wow! I loved this first lesson. I loved every minute of writing writing writing. I really look forward to my 2nd lesson."
     - Sarah

“Loving the course.”
     - Wendy

"A great, fun, practical way to get the creative juices flowing and call forth the writer's muse."
     - Man Martin

"I find Lesson 4 very interesting, so much so that all the distractions facing me at the moment of writing were not able to actually distract me."
     - Linda

"Innovative and stimulating."
     - Charles Hartik

“Thanks for this lesson. I used it for one of the characters in my newest WIP and I got a very interesting scene out of it!”
     - Carolyn

“Thanks for this awesome learning opportunity.”
     - Claire

“It's absolutely perfect! I want more!”
     - Amanda

Sign up now


Essentials of Memoir Writing - Includes 8 e-mail lessons, weekly assignments, the chance to publish on the course blog, and the chance to ask a teacher general questions. Feedback on assignments is currently not available for this course.
Total price - $26.95



Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to questions you may have about the course:

Q: How/when will I get my lessons?

A: Your answers will be sent to you by e-mail, once a week for eight weeks. Here's how it works: when you purchase the course, you will be asked for an e-mail address. After your purchase is complete, you will normally receive the first lesson within one hour.

Q: How much time will I need to complete the assignments?

A: The lessons are specially designed so that you can read and absorb them quickly. And the writing assignments can also be completed fast. But as with most things, what you get out of this course depends on what you put into it. So we suggest making time to revise your weekly assignments and do some additional writing. Ideally, try to schedule a regular time for your writing at least five days a week -- even if it is only ten minutes per day.

Q: Will I have to buy any books or additional materials?

A: There are no additional materials required for the course. The online format will also save you money versus an offline course, where you would have logistical expenses such as transportation, parking, childcare, and so on.

Q: Is the course just for memoir writing, or will it help me write fiction, plays, screenplays, poetry, etc.?

A: The course is focused on writing memoirs (essay-length or book-length). If you are mainly interested in writing fiction, screenplays, poetry, or another genre, this course may not be right for you.

Q: What if I don't understand something in one of the lessons?

A: No worries. You can e-mail us, and a teacher will answer your questions about the course.

Q: How do I get feedback on my writing assignments?

A: We currently do not offer a teacher feedback option for this course. However, you will have the chance to publish your fiction on the course blog, where other students might leave comments.

Q: How soon do I have to decide?

A: If you're really interested in taking this course, it is safer to sign up now while it's still open.

Q: What if I change my mind after I purchase the course?

A: No problem! If you change your mind, just ask us for a refund. You can send us an e-mail any time during the first 20 days, and just tell us you've changed your mind, then we'll refund 100% of your payment. No hassle; no hard feelings. So you actually have nothing to lose by signing up for the course now.

Q: What if my question was not answered here?

A: Please just send us an e-mail, and we'll be delighted to answer all your questions.



Sign up now


Essentials of Memoir Writing - Includes 8 e-mail lessons, weekly assignments, the chance to publish on the course blog, and the chance to ask a teacher general questions. Feedback on assignments is currently not available for this course.
Total price - $26.95



P.S. Still not sure? Give the course a try and see what you think. You have 20 days to decide if it's for you or ask for a refund.


Questions? Please contact us

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