Due to a rise in COVID cases, masks are required when visiting the Library building.

Tell Me Your Story: Short-Form Memoir Class

In this six-week short-form memoir class, you will work on telling your stories and, more importantly, developing your truth speakers—the strong, clear narrator that Vivian Gornick says “a writer pulls out of his or her own agitated and boring self to organize a piece of experience.”

You will read and discuss moving examples of personal writing, explore essential aspects of personal stories through craft discussions, and build toward one piece for a reading and workshopping session on the last day of class.

Register for Tell Me Your Story

Class Schedule

  • Week one: Beginnings. Jamie will discuss what makes a great memoir and read examples of compelling starts.
  • Week two: Character development and the role of I. What’s the difference between the older narrator and the muddling self?
  • Week three: Scenes. Explore general time versus specific time and how to mine your memories to build compelling scenes.
  • Week four: Narrative arc. The class will borrow from fiction to talk about pacing and building our stories into rewarding narratives.
  • Week five: Strong finishes. The class will talk about the challenge of and importance of endings.
  • Week six: Reading and workshopping. Everyone will read from the piece you've developed during the class and talk about what we like about them and what questions remain.

Please note, this class is scheduled for 90 minutes, but not every lesson will run for 90 minutes.

Suggested Reading List:

About the Instructor

Jamie Passaro is a writer whose articles, interviews, and essays have been published in The New York Times, Oregon Humanities, Full Grown People, The Washington Post parenting blog, TheAtlantic.com, The Sun, and Utne Magazine, among other places.

Jamie lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys porch-sitting, dog parks, impromptu dinner parties, meandering walks and bike rides, reading books with her kids or on her own, and officiating the occasional wedding.

Registration Information

Need help registering? Email Adult Programming at apstaff@darienlibrary.org.

This event will take place on Zoom. You will receive an email confirming your registration after you register for the event.

This program has multiple sessions

Please check your schedule to ensure you can attend all the listed sessions.

Session 1:
Thursday, October 21, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Session 2:
Thursday, October 28, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Session 3:
Thursday, November 4, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Session 4:
Thursday, November 11, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Session 5:
Thursday, November 18, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Session 6:
Thursday, December 2, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Ages

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