Transforming Life Experience into Memoir

Join New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard 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.   Email to in Word, TXT or RTF format, please.

Each writer in the group will be asked to submit a manuscript 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.

Writers in the group will be asked to share a piece of their writing from the week, if they choose, at the Friday night show for the Maine Media community. 

This workshop will be limited to 14 students. 


Joyce Maynard

New Hampshire native Joyce Maynard is the author of the memoir At Home in the World, translated into seventeen languages, and nine novels including To Die For and Labor Day, both adapted for film—as well as hundreds of personal essays published in The New York Times, Vogue, Salon, and many other publications.  A fellow of The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, she has been a regular performer with The Moth, and is the founder of The Lake Atitlan (Guatemala) Writers’ Workshop.  Her newest novel, Under the Influence, published February 2016, features a photographer as its protagonist—a choice Maynard says may have been influenced by her happy experiences at Maine Media . 

            Photo credit: James Barringer




Course Dates

Aug 21 to Aug 27



Class Size