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Memoir Writing & Memoir Examples

Memoir writing takes guts. It’s revealing and personal – sometimes even painful to put on the page. Here you’ll find guidelines and memoir examples to ensure your story is something others will want to read. Learn how to craft it and how to get it sold. For more resources, click How to Write a Memoir.

November is National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo’s Chris Baty shares five tips for writing your book in a month.

by Chris Baty Read more

Principles of Building a Story

Read "Principles of Building of a Story" from From First Draft to Finished Novel. Read more

The Four Commandments of Writing Good Sentences

If you want to write a good sentence, don’t pay any attention to your grammar. I don’t mean “a sentence this like OK is.” I mean don’t automatically think you’ve written a good sentence just because it’s grammatically correct. Lots of bad sentences are grammatically correct. Some of these bad sentences might even be yours.

by Bonnie Trenga Read more

Challenging the Limits of Memory

In this excerpt from Writing Life Stories, Bill Roorbach teaches you how to pay attention to and translate your memories and how to overcome your resistance to remembered places and events. Read more

Writing Another Life

The biographer’s task can be overwhelming. Here’s how one biographer learned to breathe new life into her subject.

by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers Read more

Put a New Spin on Nonfiction

Creative exercises to keep your writing sharp, exerpted from Writing Creative Nonfiction. Read more

Writer out of Carolina: Dorothy Allison

“This is not joy. This is not pleasure. Writing is work, and the most difficult work is inhabiting someone who is not you.” Read more

Tips for Memoirists and Journal-Writers

Tips from Frank McCourt, Mimi Schwartz and others on how to look at your story, how to make it significant. Read more

The Surreal Life

Augusten Burroughs wrote through his life as an abandoned child, high school dropout and alcoholic—and somehow found sanity, sobriety and success along the way. Read more

A Different Type of Memoir: Rick Moody

“I frankly think that whenever a form looks exhausted, that’s exactly the point at which you should swoop in and pry it apart and see what makes it tick.” Read more

Waiting to Excel

It takes a lot more than writing your heart on the page to sell a book. Here are three lessons in perseverance one writer learned the hard way. Read more

Research Tips on Writing About Your Life

Writing about personal experiences presents special challenges. Here”s one of several tips from Bill Roorbach, author of Writing Life Stories: “Vague references hurt your writing. Find uses of recently, and references to generic objects and anonymous people, then get specific. When did it happen? What year and model was that car? Uncover the name of your mysterious neighbor. This sounds elementary, but even expert writers catch the Read more

Write a Memoir to Remember!

An interesting life and excellent writing are key to a compelling memoir. Learn the elements that will help make your story stand out from the rest of the pack. Read more

2 Tips to Writing a Memoir

Writing a memoir can be a challenging experience. Writer”s Digest offers some helpful suggestions to make the process a little easier. Read more

All in the Family

Capture your family stories in writing using these eight tips. Read more

Memoirs vs. Biographies

by Susan Carol Hauser, author of You Can Write a Memoir Read more

A Memoir To Remember

It’s the extraordinary story that interests readers. But it’s how you present it that hooks them. Read more

Spilling Secrets

The authors of two explosive memoirs talk about the fears that held them back—and why they wrote their books anyway. Could telling your own story be the corrective you need, too? Read more

7 Tips for Telling Your Life Story

Telling your life story is big business these days. Edrienne L. Kittredge shares seven tips for deciding whether the skeleton in your closet needs to be shared with the world. Read more

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