This workshop will meet daily, Monday through Friday, 9:30-11:30am Nov. 6th-10th at THE CABIN
$215, $180 for members. Need to become a member and save on workshops all year long? Find out more HERE
Life is a journey that we all must make, and in memoir we are its willing protagonist. Both myth and memoir share a structure: somebody goes into the woods and comes out wiser. In sharing memoir with readers, we share our lessons, the morals of our stories, the keys to our lopsided, lovable, imperfect, and deeply true versions of happily ever after.
Yet memoir writers often get stuck choosing which stories (from the bottomless lake of a life) to include. This weeklong intensive course in Mythic Memoir borrows structure from the great myths, then fills in the story with the particulars of a single, human-sized life. Using mythic structure to help shape ordinary life events helps writers to combine universal themes with their own true voice—a way to write our lives and make it matter.
For the duration of this class, we will do writing exercises to determine the life stories that are most potent, most ready to write NOW. Then we will free-write to find a correlating myth or story to use as our memoir’s “borrowed form.” Many basic mythic plots divide easily into five stages of surviving some difficulty or ordeal. We will focus on one each day, weaving the sections together for a short memoir or chapter (8-12pp).
About Elisabeth Sharp McKetta
Elisabeth Sharp McKetta teaches writing online for Harvard Extension School. She is the founder of Poetry for Strangers and author of two books, The Creative Year: 52 Workshops for Writers and The Fairy Tales Mammals Tell. Her PhD (Univ. Texas 2009) focused on the intersections between fairy tales and autobiography. She lives in Boise with her family. www.elisabethsharpmcketta.com