Speculative Memoir: Making Space for the Imagined and Unexplained

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 @ 2:00 pm -3:15 pm Eastern

Memoir is not a mere series of facts; it’s a vehicle for telling a story that the author experienced, and there are many ways to evoke the truth of that story.

Additional Information

Speculative memoir is finding its rightful place in the world of creative nonfiction. Books like Carmen Maria Machado’s Into the Dream House, Ariel Gore’s We Were Witches, Anna Joy Springer’s The Vicious Red Relic, Love, and Sofia Samatar’s Monster Portraits have expanded our understanding of what is possible in memoir, showing us a wide range of storytelling approaches unbound by the traditional restraints of the genre. Aligning the imaginative realms with the external events of a life is a natural connection for storytellers. Too, the worlds of spirits, ghosts, and the supernatural are not considered “untrue” in many cultures; whose cultural view gets to determine truth? Far from being fiction, speculative elements can bring a reader deeper into the emotional and psychological realities of the memoirist’s psyche.

This webinar offers insight into the vast potential of speculative memoir and provides tools for you to bring speculative elements into your own writing—without breaking the contract with the reader for “accuracy” in memoir.

In this webinar, you will:

  • EXAMINE how memoir always engages with the speculative, even if there are no apparent ghosts or magical elements.
  • CONSIDER various definitions of speculative memoir.
  • UNDERSTAND, through a short case study of the presenter’s speculative memoir, how and why the form was selected for her story.
  • LEARN how, when, and why to use speculative elements in your own memoir.

There will be time for a Q&A at the end of the presentation.

This webinar is ideal for memoirists interested in alternative ways of storytelling, and memoirists who have second guessed their intuitive way of sharing their stories and viewing the world. Also, anyone who loves ghosts!

All registrants receive a recording.

Course Presenter

Course Registration

Early Registration ends 06/21/2021 $25.00 $15.00

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Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

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Education FAQs

  • Will there be closed-captioning or a transcript of the webinar?

    We will provide closed-captioning upon request. Please contact us at least a week prior to the webinar to allow time for scheduling with a captioner.

  • Will I need to install any software?

    The webinar link will prompt you to download the GoTo Opener. For troubleshooting questions, please refer to GoTo Webinar’s support page: https://support.goto.com/webinar

  • What video conferencing program does CNF use for their webinars?

    We use GoTo Meeting. After you register for the webinar, you will receive an email with a link to the class.

  • Is there a preferred browser for viewing the webinar?

    Yes: Chrome tends to work best with the GoTo Webinar software.

  • I’d like to attend a webinar but have a conflict. Will the program be offered at another time?

    Our webinars are usually presented on Wednesday at 2:00 pm Eastern time. We rarely repeat webinars, but we do send out a recording of the program to everyone who registers, and you may watch the program at your conviencence.