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.

Additional Information

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.

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, and the five senses.
  • 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 in the drafting or revision stage.

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].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

Read Success Stories


I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill