Writing: Meredith Hall

June 28 – July 3

From Memory to Story: Narrative in Memoir – How do we carry our memories onto the page in ways readers will find worthwhile and engaging? Which stories matter? Where do I start? How do I protect the people I love as I tell my stories? Memoirists have tools available that provide solutions to these questions. By utilizing the essential narrative skills of the fiction writer—details of place and character, bodies in action, dialogue and reflection—we are able to see the shape and meaning of the stories we carry as memories. By trusting the act of “making story,” the writer is relieved of the burden of telling the reader what to think and why it matters. This move has the effect of freeing the writer in a process that can be startling and exhilarating. We will write a series of short narrative pieces, crafting memory into story. Each writer will receive workshop feedback from the other participants and from the instructor. We will read and discuss published essays as models of narrative memoir. Each writer will have an individual conference with the instructor. You will leave the workshop with a portfolio of prompts, short drafts and ideas. We will work as a committed, lively, kindly group of writers seeking to improve our own writing and helping others to do the same. And we will celebrate the great pleasure that comes with mastering narrative memoir.

Meredith Hall’s memoir, Without a Map, was a New York Times bestseller and was named Maine Book of the Year, Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and BookSense, and Elle’s “Readers’ Pick of the Year.” Her awards include a Pushcart prize and several nominations, Best American “notable,” CLMP’s “American Emerging Writer Award,” and a $50,000 Gift of Freedom literary award from A Room of Her Own Foundation. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review and many other journals and anthologies. Her novel, Beneficence, will be published by David. R. Godine Publishing in Fall, 2020. Hall is Professor Emerita in the MFA creative writing program at the University of New Hampshire. meredithhall.org