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Back to Basics: Writing & Publishing Memoir

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It can be very difficult to sell a memoir when you're
not famous. Without
a celebrity's fan base, or a loyal and captive audience, then you
need to write like a master, or have such a fantastical story that no one
can divert their attention from it!

The other question that often arises with memoir is: How true does it have to be? That may sound like a funny question, but it's a valid one.

Below you'll find links to the most useful advice I've seen (or offered) in the past couple years on writing and publishing memoir.

OR: If you prefer to have someone present material to you in a focused and interactive format, then I highly recommend How to Write a Marketable Memoir presented by Paula Balzer. This online event is apart of Writer's Digest's free writing webinar series.

From Writer's Digest magazine

The Market for Memoirs (July/August 2010), an agent roundtable on what they're looking for and what sells

The Key Elements of Writing a Good Memoir (July/August 2010), on story arc

A Hook for Every Book (July/August 2010), by agent Paula Balzer on finding a salable hook for your memoir

Do Memoirs Have to Be True? (July/August 2010)

Full Disclosure by Laurie Rosin (July/August 2010), on why you shouldn't gloss over the tough stuff when writing your memoir (look on right-hand side of site for link to article)

My own advice at NO RULES

5 Common Flaws in Memoir Projects

Your No. 1 Challenge If You’re Writing a Memoir

Your Self-Help Book Should Not Be a Thinly Disguised Memoir


Guest posts at NO RULES

Creating Memoir That's Bigger Than Me, Me, Me

Writing Memoir: Art vs. Confessional

3 Important Privacy Issues in Memoir

My favorite agent & editor advice on memoir

Why is it so difficult to find representation or a publisher for a memoir focusing on overcoming personal adversity? from agent Rachelle Gardner

Agent Rachelle Gardner on writing memoir [similar to above, but different angle]

My favorite book on personal stories & memoir

The Situation and The Story by Vivian Gornick

What are your favorite articles, blog posts, or books that specifically address memoir writing? Share in the comments! I'd love to find more resources. In my mind, this is a topic that's not covered often enough.

Photo credit: godutchbaby

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.

Jacquelyn Mitchard: On Forgiveness in Fiction

Jacquelyn Mitchard: On Forgiveness in Fiction

Award-winning novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard discusses the chance meeting that led to her new novel, The Good Son.

Sea Bound

Sea Bound

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write about someone connected to the sea.

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