Memoirs are among the hottest genres published today, and for good reason. As the bubbles around us burst, readers are hungry to find the truth in this life of ours just as writers are eager to tell it. Since each of us views life through the lens of our own experience, we see there may be many more than one truth.
How do we select what to tell so others will want to read it? How do we address the inner censor who tells us the stories of our lives are not worth telling? How do we overcome the reluctance to write our stories for fear of hurting those close to us? Marge Piercy and Ira Wood have successfully grappled with these questions in their own books and in workshops conducted all over the country. They will explore the differences and the similarities between memoir and autobiographical fiction so each of us can find the genre that best meets our needs.
This workshop offers an introduction to the elements of the writing craft and the opportunity to put them to use specially created exercises. We will concentrate on writing gripping beginnings, how to write dialogue, and the way to organize the raw material of our lives. We will discuss developing good work habits, the skills necessary to follow though, and how to submit work for publication.
Work written during the workshop will be discussed in small groups and, if you choose, in the larger group, in a non-judgmental environment designed to support each other’s individual skills. (Writers may read portions of their ongoing projects if the length and subject matter corresponds to the work assigned in the workshop.) The goal is to overcome the barriers that keep you from sharing your stories and to encourage you to return to your on-going projects with renewed confidence, or to finally begin to write about what you have long wanted to tackle.
“Marge Piercy is a cultural touchstone,” wrote The Boston Globe. “Few writers in modern memory have sustained her passion and skill for creating stories of consequence.” She is the author of 18 collections of poetry and 17 novels. The Hunger Moon: New & Selected Poems 1980-2010, is forthcoming in paperback in November, 2012, and PM PRESS has just re-released two early classics, Dance the Eagle to Sleep and Vida. Her memoir, Sleeping With Cats, is available from Harper Perennial. Marge’s work has been translated into over 20 languages. She gives numerous readings, workshops and speeches here and abroad.
Ira Wood is a popular teacher known for working with writers to overcome their inner censor. He is the author of three novels, The Kitchen Man, Going Public, and Storm Tide, with Marge Piercy, with whom he has co-written So You Want to Write: How to Master the Craft of Writing Fiction and Memoir, a best-selling hands-on book for writers. Together they founded The Leapfrog Press, an independent literary publishing company which they sold in 2007. Ira’s new book of hilarious essays, You’re Married to HER? will be released in summer 2o12. For lots more check out Ira’s website.