October 31 - November 25, 2022
Patterned after our popular Thirty-Minute Memoir course, this self-guided course is designed to help you break the potentially overwhelming task of writing a memoir into manageable daily writing assignments. Each week’s lesson, revealed on Monday, will focus on a different aspect of memoir writing, from opening chapters to scenes involving dialogue. Daily writing prompts will keep you motivated and moving ahead with your project.
Each week provides:
After the course closes: you will receive a zip file containing all of the course content and any writing you posted. You’ll also continue to be a member of our Creative Nonfiction Writing Classes’ Community Page. With this free membership, you will be able to share writings and calls for submissions, recommend books, and stay connected with other writers.
A memoir needs a focal point on which the writer can build, but many writers dive into their first draft without knowing what their focus is. During Week 1 you will identify the focus of your book (or think of ways to fine-tune that focus for an existing project). This week’s writing prompts will help you identify and hone the central idea of your memoir.
A book-length memoir offers many possibilities for structure: should the narrative be chronological, braided, retrospective? You will explore possible shapes for your memoir, and this week's writing prompts provide opportunities to try out (or again, hone) different structures and approaches.
People are the most important element of a memoir, in that a reader’s interest in all the book’s events is generally founded on his or her interest in the people who lived through those events. The setting in which your book takes place can also be an essential part of the story you want to tell; in many cases, the setting can be a character in and of itself. This week you will learn how to write about people and place in ways that readers will find engaging.
Two of the most pivotal elements of nonfiction are scene and summary. You’'ll study the difference between summary and scene and practice using both effectively.
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].
Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.
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
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.
Replays include ongoing access to the recording and downloadable supplemental materials.
Every true story contains gaps. By imagining our way into these gaps, we can transform our material and our writing experience.
Dive in with CNF Founder Lee Gutkind
Get started with the best CNF has to offer
Search 25+ years of essays
The best of Creative Nonfiction in your inbox. Sign up to stay up-to-date on genre-related news and updates from the Creative Nonfiction Foundation.