Personal Storytelling I

Transforming Life Experience into Memoir

Join bestselling writer Joyce Maynard (longtime teacher of memoir and performer with The Moth storytelling series, and author of At Home in the World, Labor Day and To Die For and many other works of fiction and nonfiction ) for a week-long intensive exploration of personal narrative, in the short essay form or the book-length memoir, or as a work of performance storytelling. 

Over the course of the week, each writer’s work will be individually workshopped with the group, with an emphasis on issues of craft such as story structure, voice, developing character, point of view, language and dialogue, as well as the more global concerns of emotional authenticity, the ethics and personal responsibility of telling stories from one’s own life, and establishing a daily writing practice. 

Each writer in the group will be asked to submit a manuscript of up to 2500 words in length, in advance of the workshop, to be shared with the other members of the group, whose responsibility it will be to read all fellow students’ work before the first day of the workshop.  A portion of each class day will be reserved for new writing, with daily prompts.  Maynard will also share and analyze diverse examples of strong first-person storytelling, with an eye to developing in each writer the tools of a good editor of his or her own work.  Another goal of the workshop will be to help each writer identify his or her own best material, design a story arc for that work, and locate a point of entry.

This workshop, which is open to all levels of writers, will be conducted over the course of two weeks with the option for each writer to attend one or both sessions.  Prerequisite for Week One is the submission of a short writing sample, or a letter describing the project that writer would like to undertake during the workshop. Prerequsite for Week Two is attendance at Week One, or the submission of a 2000 word writing sample. 

Near the end of each week of the workshop, writers in the group will be asked to participate in an evening of oral storytelling to be performed for the Maine Media Workshop community. 

This workshop will be limited to 14 students. 

Instructors

Joyce Maynard

Joyce Maynard has been a writer of both fiction and nonfiction for over forty years—having begun her career in her teens.  Her essays and syndicated columns have been widely anthologized, and her best-selling At Home in the World, has been translated into eighteen languages.  Her novels include To Die For and Labor Day, the movie adaptation of which is due out in summer, 2013 , as is her newest novel, After Her.

Maynard performs frequently as a storyteller with The Moth in New York City, and with Porchlight in San Francisco.  Founder of the Lake Atitlan Writing Workshop, in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, and a former instructor with the Stonecoast Writing Program in Maine.