Writing Memoir: The Art and Craft of Remembering via Creative Nonfiction

Date: Thursday, April 30, 2020 Time: 1:00 pm-3:30 pm Location: Via Zoom  Fee: $90 in advance


Elayne Clift

Writer and Journalist

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“May we journey from forgetfulness to remembrance so we may discover once again that we already know.”   -June Gould, The Writer in All of Us

“Childhood has enough material to last a lifetime.”   -Flannery O’Connor

“By having roots, you can see the direction in which you want to go,”   -Joenia Wapixana, Brazilian writer

Memoir is an ever-growing sub-genre within creative non-fiction, embraced by both writers and readers. Writing memoir helps us explore our lives through remembrance, imagination, and what Henry James called “the process of vision.” Memories can help us find the beauty, express true feelings, laugh at our foibles, and understand our world through an adult lens. “Without memory,” writer William Giraldi says, “imagination is impotent.”

In this writing workshop, we will draw upon sensory memory to coax the writer in all of us out of hiding, recognizing that memory can be a writer’s best friend. Through prompts, readings, and constructive feedback in a safe environment, participants will sharpen their creative expression and explore the forces that have shaped each of us.

Class will meet Thursdays, April 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28.

Elayne Clift, a Vermont Humanities Council Scholar, is an award-winning writer and journalist, a writing workshop leader, and a lecturer. Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in numerous publications internationally. A regular columnist for the Keene Sentinel and the Brattleboro Commons, a book reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, she has written for various magazines and periodicals. Her first novel, Hester’s Daughters, a contemporary, feminist retelling of The Scarlet Letter, appeared in 2012 and her award-winning short story collection, Children of the Chalet, was published by Braughler Books (2015). Her latest book is Around the World in 50 Years: Travel Tales of a Not So Innocent Abroad (Braughler Books, 2019).