Worldbuilding in Memoir: How to Create Vivid Worlds that Captivate your Readers

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 3:10 pm Eastern

“Worldbuilding” calls to mind fictional settings — Hogwarts, Gatsby’s mansion, Alice’s Wonderland — but creating a vivid world on the page is just as essential to creative nonfiction. Using hyper-specific detail and sensory images, memoirists can pull readers in, keep them engaged until the final sentence, and make them care about our stories and characters.

Additional Information

Memoirs and personal essays also offer the unique opportunity to inhabit the inner world of the writer, accessing our deepest thoughts, feelings, and truths. This webinar will explore why worldbuilding—both exterior and interior—is important in memoir and provide practical tips for creating memorable worlds that captivate your readers.

In this webinar, you will:

  • EXPLORE why worldbuilding is so important in memoir. We’ll look at examples from published memoirs to uncover how hyper-specific details and evocative settings make us care about a writer’s experience.
  • LEARN ways to apply worldbuilding techniques to your own memoir, including the use of “telling details,” specificity, the five senses, and more.
  • ADDRESS the practical challenges of worldbuilding in memoir, including memory gaps, knowing what details to include vs. not include, and more.

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

This webinar is ideal for writers who are working on memoir projects or personal essays and are either in the drafting or revision stages.

All registrants receive a recording.

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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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The instructor feedback, readings, and prompts expanded my creativity. I saw new things that I could successfully do.

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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.