About Memoir Courses
Unlike novels, short stories and poems, the memoir requires writers to stick to the truth, the actual sequence of events as they happened, the hard facts and figures of their lives. But memoir writers, just like the authors of those more freewheeling genres, still need a strong narrator and compelling narrative technique.
In our memoir courses, teachers guide students through close readings from varied but equally powerful memoirs–by memoirists ranging from Claude Brown to Annie Dillard–to determine how authors take the raw material of their lives and apply the techniques of fiction and poetry to tell powerful stories. Teachers provide useful weekly critiques of each student’s work, a degree of attention nearly unheard of elsewhere. This process supports students in finding a distinct voice to compellingly tell their stories.