Our Teaching

Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and Brooke Warner, Publisher of She Writes Press, have been teaching memoir together for five years, and collectively for 30 years. They are regulars on the conference circuit and have co-led two successful Magic of Memoir conferences in 2015 and 2016. We love teaching memoir, and we’re regularly complimented for our complementary styles. With Brooke’s background in publishing and Linda Joy’s many years as a therapist, we bring an important blend of craft and practical strategy mixed with compassion and deep holding to writers on their memoir journeys.

Teaching topics include:

Breaking Ground on Your Memoir
Based on their book by the same name, Breaking Ground on Your Memoir is an exploration of craft and process in memoir. This is a foundational program that teaches memoirists what they need to know about craft—from narration, to story arc, to characterization, to elements of a scene. This program also acknowledges the deeply emotional process of writing a memoir, which requires so much of writers who takes on this endeavor, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. Linda Joy and Brooke offer a deeper holding in this course for memoirists, as well as tips for staying the course, and inspiration for the journey. This program includes a free copy of the Breaking Ground on Your Memoir e-book for each participant.

5 Keys Elements of a Successful Memoir
In this program, Linda Joy and Brooke teach what memoirists need to master in order to write a successful memoir: scenes, narration, theme, characterization, and takeaway. This session analyzes why each of these elements is important in good storytelling and shows writers how to harness these points of craft in their own memoir. (Video segments from this program are included below, and we vary up our teaching and examples every time we present.)

Scene intensive
Scenes take what happened and transform it into a story. There is nothing more important in memoir writing than mastering scenes. Understanding scene is the key to writing your whole book. This intensive guides memoirists through how to build a scene, craft point-by-craft point, giving writers a hands-on experience of scene-writing. Memoirists will leave the program having written a full scene, and with a renewed confidence in their approach to their writing.

Mapping Your Memoir
In this session you will learn proven strategies to turn your memories into scenes and chapters. Mapping your memoir involves finding your turning points and creating your “scaffolding” (your scene-by-scene outline) so that you have a guide your scenes, the foundation of your memoir.

How to Sell Your Memoir
In this program, Brooke and Linda Joy draw upon the concepts from Brooke’s book, How to Sell Your Memoir, and take you through everything you need to know to pitch and sell your book, as well as how to build and grow a memoir platform that will make agents and editors take notice. This program includes a free copy of Brooke’s e-book for each participant.

Brooke Warner on takeaway in memoir writing:

Takeaway refers to a particular element of memoir-writing craft in which the author turns the mirror outward, showcasing the universality of the human experience through the prose. In this session from the 2016 Magic of Memoir Conference in Oakland, CA, Brooke Warner does a deep dive into takeaway and its many variations: a shared connection (often using the second person); conveying a bigger-picture message; shared human experience; facts or statistics, personal philosophy; or as a teaching tool.

Linda Joy on the power of scenes in memoir writing:

Scenes are the engine of a great story. In this session from the 2016 Magic of Memoir Conference in Oakland, CA, Linda Joy teaches memoirists what they need to learn in order to write vibrant scenes to make the world of their memoir come to life. This video takes you step-by-step through the process.