From Memory to Story: A Memoir Workshop

with Molly Wizenberg

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Course Description

Writing about our own lives might sound simple; you’ve lived it, and now you’ll just write it down. But the work of a writer is not just to recount what we remember. Our job is to evoke our experiences in words, so that another person might feel what it was like — and so that we might understand why it was important, why we remember what we do.

Author of three published memoirs, Molly Wizenberg, leads this online workshop for creative nonfiction writers or photographers or anyone interested in memoir. Molly guides each participant in tapping into their memories, rebuilding scenes from the past, and writing vividly from within them. She shares an approach she has used time and again in my her writing;  beginning with a single image — the slant of a stranger’s nose, the way a lover tied her shoes, the thing your father always said — and through the act of writing, we travel back to inhabit the old scene again, get curious and poke around, ask questions of ourselves, and search for meaning in the raw material of our lives.

Alongside writing exercises and assignments, we also read and discuss short passages from a broad swath of writers, from Jenny Erpenbeck to M. F. K. Fisher, Francis Lam, Joan Didion, Ryan Van Meter, and poet Sharon Olds. Participants share some of the work they produce and receive constructive feedback from the instructor and the group. No experience is necessary, and all skill levels are welcome. In fact, this workshop is for anyone with access to the Internet and a curiosity about their own life, whether or not you call yourself a ‘writer.’

Additional Information


This program is open to anyone who wants to engage in a creative writing workshop.


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Writers Lab
© Dorothee Brand
Molly Wizenberg

Molly Wizenberg is the author of three memoirs, most recently The Fixed Stars, a finalist for the 2021 Washington State Book Award and a 2021 Stonewall Book Awards honor book. Her first two books, A Homemade Life and Delancey, were both New York Times bestsellers. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Lit Hub, and elsewhere, as well as on Orangette, the James Beard Award-winning blog that Molly wrote from 2004 to 2019. She also co-hosts the food-and-comedy podcast Spilled Milk. Molly lives in Seattle and teaches writing around the world.

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