Prerequisite: Kathleen’s 5-week Memoir Writing class
Have you started your memoir but would love some ongoing guidance and encouragement? Are you wondering about ways to craft it that are indeed shapely, intense, fascinating…and publishable?
“The artful memoir isn’t easy to knock off,” says Kathleen. “We need skill and nuance in narrating and musing on past events and feelings to make a cohesive whole. Memoirs that matter, that truly move readers, call for soul-searching and for mastery of essential literary elements—an engaging voice, vivid scenes and characters, a careful blend of action and reflection, a unifying thread/theme.”
This class is designed to engage and support writers in the challenge of telling their truest stories with language that shimmers on the page. Kathleen will provide readings, writing exercises, and constructive group critiques. She will advise on the memoirist’s rights and responsibilities, and also on the paradox of preserving solitude and nourishing community.
Between classes, participants will exchange pages with workshop partners and check-in once with Kathleen. By the end of the class, memoirists will have a wider repertoire of techniques, new colleagues and connections, more richly layered writing, and more resilience for future projects.
Kathleen McClung has mentored hundreds of writers at Skyline College, the Writing Salon, and other colleges, and she has taught/advised student teachers in the credential program at Mills College. She has also edited books at small presses including UCSF Nursing Press, Food First Books, and Westview Press. She serves as a reviewer for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, sponsored by the Stanford University Libraries, sponsor/judge for the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, and coordinator of Women on Writing community events. Her memoir, poetry, and fiction have been published in the Healing Muse, Bloodroot, Unsplendid, Poets 11, Spirituality & Health, Tilt-a-Whirl, Tule Review, A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows and Ravens, and elsewhere. In 2012 Kathleen won the Rita Dove Poetry Award, and Naomi Shihab Nye selected her work as the winner of the national poetry competition sponsored by the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Almost the Rowboat, in January 2013.