Online Class: Melissa Cistaro - Memoir as an Act of Discovery

Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Saturday & Sunday, June 5 & 6th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • 10:30am-12:00pm PT • $120


Flannery O’Connor once said, “Anyone who survives childhood has enough material to write for the rest of her life.” She’s right. You have the material, but often memoir writers think they already know their story because they’ve lived it. Writing our truths on the page opens a deep well of vulnerability, and ultimately it’s a process of discovery. You uncover the past as you go; new patterns, characters, and themes begin to arise as you write. Memoirists often struggle with the most effective and the most honest way to tell their own stories. In this workshop of discovery, we will practice some surefire techniques and writing exercises to help you dig up those hidden gems just beneath the surface. We will shine a light on some recently published memoirs and ask why they are so effective. Participants will leave with new strategies to deepen their own work. Come prepared to write, meander, and explore!

The format of this 3-hour Zoom workshop will be divided into to two sessions (1.5 hours on Saturday and 1.5 hours on Sunday) allowing participants extra time for writing and reflection.

Melissa Cistaro has worked on multiple sides of the literary industry including helping authors complete and publish their manuscripts, collaborating with publishers, editors, and working in the bookselling trade. She is the author of the award-winning memoir Pieces of My Mother (US edition) and the Canadian bestseller Without My Mother (HarperCollins Canada). Her stories, essays and interviews have appeared in The New Ohio Review, Brevity, The Huffington Post, PBS: To the Contrary, Good Housekeeping, and the anthologies Cherished, and Love and Profanity. Melissa’s taught on faculty at The San Miguel Writers’Conference, Writing Pad SF, Book Passage, San Francisco Writers’ Conference, and Word Wave Literary Festival in Tahoe.