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Writing Your Memoir: The Art and Craft of Storytelling

Dates: 7 Mondays, Jan. 21 - Mar. 4
Time: 7 pm - 9:30 pm 
Instructor: Zoe FitzGerald Carter
Ages: Adult 
Genre: Memoir/Personal Essay
Price: $475

This workshop is designed to help both budding and seasoned storytellers write lively, well-constructed memoirs and personal essays. Over seven evenings, we'll discuss the essential components of literary memoir: Structure, Scene, Story Arc, Character Arc, and Theme.


We'll read examples from recent essays and memoirs and consider the thorny issue of “truth in memoir” and the challenge inherent in writing about the people we love. Students are encouraged to share their writing conundrums, although issues that are overly specific will be answered by the instructor privately.


There will be a short in-class writing exercise every week and students will have the chance to submit 6-8 pages of an essay or manuscript for critique by the class. The only prerequisite for this class is that you’re prepared to offer smart and supportive feedback!

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Zoe FitzGerald Carter is the author of the memoir Imperfect Endings: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Loss, and Letting Go (Simon & Schuster). The book chronicles her mother’s decision to end her life after living with Parkinson’s disease for many years and the struggle Zoe and her two sisters had coming to terms with that choice. Paula Span of the New York Times said, “I could quote from this book all day,” and People magazine wrote that Imperfect Endings “coaxes beauty from the bleak.”


A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, Zoe has written for numerous publications including the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek, Salon, and Vogue. Zoe is currently at work on a nonfiction book about race, Facebook, and unexpected kinship. She also performs with local string band Sugartown. 

More about Zoe:

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