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Developing Your Memoir: Finding Your Focus & Expanding Your Toolbox

This course is designed for writers who are interested in exploring the genre of memoir/creative nonfiction and who are in the process of writing (or who hope to write) a book-length memoir, or a collection of linked personal essays.

In each session, we will examine an aspect of the memoir-writing process--including finding a balance between showing and telling, developing powerful scenes, creating a sense of place and context for the reader, and finding one's theme or through-line. Participants will complete a series of short writing exercises to apply the various techniques discussed in class.

By the end of the course, you will have a broader understanding of the various tools and techniques that make for good memoir, and be on your way to finding the focus of your own life stories.

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: Developing Your Memoir: Finding Your Form & Expanding Your Toolbox takes place Mondays September 20 & 27, October 4, 18 & 25, and November 1 (no class session on October 11 in honor of Indigenous People's Day) from 6:30-9pm remotely through Zoom. 

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