One moment please...

Finding Emotional Stakes in Memoir

Using excerpts from the Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick, and other writers, we'll examine the importance of overarching conflict in the memoir genre, its connection to theme, and explore ways to locate the forces that drive our protagonists and the internal and external conflicts that propel our stories.

We will focus on the following questions: What is the inciting incident, or a key event that sets your story in motion? How can you identify a turning point, with emotional stakes for the protagonist? What does your protagonist learn by going on this journey of discovery, and how might you, as the writer, keep your reader engaged?

Instructor: Judah Leblang is a storyteller, memoirist and writing teacher. His essays and commentaries have been broadcast throughout the US on more than 150 NPR and ABC-network radio stations, as well as several Canadian stations. He is a regular columnist for Bay Windows, Boston’s gay newspaper, and an instructor at Grub Street. The 2nd edition of his memoir, Finding My Place: One Man’s Journey from Cleveland to Boston and Beyond, was published in 2013. His new book Echoes of Jerry is about his Uncle Jerry, an orally-educated deaf man as well as Leblang's own struggles with his sexuality and trying to find his place in society, finally coming out in the mid-1980s. Clips of his performances and writing are at


Details: Finding Emotional Stakes in Memoir takes place Tuesday, August 8 from 6:00-9:00pm remotely online via Zoom.

Prerequisites: None

Genre: Nonfiction/memoir

Level: Emerging/Intermediate

Format: Craft and generative workshop

Location: This class takes place remotely online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 12 participants (including scholarships).

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with an intermediate or advanced level memoir, nonfiction, or essay writing course.

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by April 24.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email

Contact Information - Required


Voluntary Demographic Information

NEW: As part of our ongoing efforts to make programs and classes more inclusive and accessible, we are now collecting voluntary demographic information during the registration process. The following information is entirely voluntary and will remain anonymous. It will only be used in aggregate to assess and improve services and inclusive practices to ensure we are serving our entire community equitably. Thank you!

(Select one or more)