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Writing the Story of Your Life

Getting Over the First Hurdle

1440 Multiversity 800 Bethany Drive Scotts Valley,CA 95066

Writing one’s life story can be a gloriously sloppy process. Everyone has a different “first hurdle” to overcome. For some the story feels too big, for others writing is an emotional process, and for others it’s about claiming (or reclaiming) creativity after a long hiatus.

In this 5-day workshop, best-selling author Hope Edelman breaks down the process into a series of eight manageable steps for starting a new work or strengthening a memoir-in-progress. From identifying story structure through inserting detail and description, developing three-dimensional characters, and balancing narration and reflection, you’ll learn about the basic craft components of memoir and put them all into practice.

Through a combination of short class exercises, discussion of published works, and workshops of students’ writing, you will learn:

  • What a memoir is and, equally important, what it isn’t—an essay, an autobiography, or an opportunity to confess or blame
  • How to break down the process of writing a book into small, manageable steps
  • The legal and ethical considerations of writing about real people and events
  • All the ways to tell the story of a life: a look at honesty, point of view, story ownership, and the mystery of time
  • Various ways to find audiences for your work.

Walk away with a far stronger grasp of what a memoir is and how to write one, as well as what readers want and expect from personal narratives. Return home with about five to 10 pages of new work and an outline for more!

Hope Edelman, MA

May 6 - 11, 2018
Sunday-Friday , 5 nights

$425 Tuition

Plus 5 nights all-inclusive accommodations priced separately below.

Register

Program Description

Writing one’s life story can be a gloriously sloppy process. Everyone has a different “first hurdle” to overcome. For some the story feels too big, for others writing is an emotional process, and for others it’s about claiming (or reclaiming) creativity after a long hiatus.

In this 5-day workshop, best-selling author Hope Edelman breaks down the process into a series of eight manageable steps for starting a new work or strengthening a memoir-in-progress. From identifying story structure through inserting detail and description, developing three-dimensional characters, and balancing narration and reflection, you’ll learn about the basic craft components of memoir and put them all into practice.

Through a combination of short class exercises, discussion of published works, and workshops of students’ writing, you will learn:

  • What a memoir is and, equally important, what it isn’t—an essay, an autobiography, or an opportunity to confess or blame
  • How to break down the process of writing a book into small, manageable steps
  • The legal and ethical considerations of writing about real people and events
  • All the ways to tell the story of a life: a look at honesty, point of view, story ownership, and the mystery of time
  • Various ways to find audiences for your work.

Walk away with a far stronger grasp of what a memoir is and how to write one, as well as what readers want and expect from personal narratives. Return home with about five to 10 pages of new work and an outline for more!

Faculty Bio

Hope Edelman, MA

Hope Edelman is the internationally best-selling author of Motherless Daughters, Motherless Mothers, and the memoir The Possibility of Everything. Her therapy practice is centered on helping other women heal from the lifelong effects of early parent loss.

Her work has inspired more than 40 Motherless Daughters groups and annual luncheons worldwide, and she has developed and co-led Motherless Daughters Retreats with author and therapist Claire Bidwell Smith since 2016.

Hope holds a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa, and has been teaching memoir writing for more than 20 years, most recently in the master’s of fine arts program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Hope is also a Martha Beck-trained life coach specializing in grief and loss.

Her writing has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies ranging from the New York Times to Real Simple to CNN.com. She is an Alumni Fellow at the University of Iowa and an inductee in the Medill Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University, where she received her undergraduate journalism degree.

 

Why Attend

  • Thanks to the close attention paid to the story beneath each story, you’ll benefit in multiple ways from this combined writing workshop and lab for self-discovery.

  • A former editor, Hope has been teaching nonfiction workshops for more than two decades and is currently writing her eighth work of nonfiction. Benefit from her accumulated insights and best practices as a writer, editor, and instructor with more than thirty years of experience in her craft.

  • Push through stagnation and start shaping a story from the raw material of life experience.

Things to Know

  • Program Schedule

    Download a sample schedule.

  • Prerequisites

    None required.

  • Experience Level

    All levels are welcome, but this workshop is best-suited to those with some writing experience, including attendance at a prior workshop or years of journaling.

  • Things to Bring

    A notebook and pens and/or a laptop if that’s how you prefer to write.

  • Special Interest to

    Anyone who has a story to tell, which is to say—pretty much everyone.

Accommodations

Standard Double
Affordable comfort with a hall bathroom.
Weeknight rates from $160 per person per night based on double occupancy.*

Standard Single
Affordable solo comfort with a shared hall bathroom.**
Weeknight rates from $175.

Traditional Double
Tastefully designed rooms with a range of bed sizes.
Weeknight rates from $190 per person per night based on double occupancy.*

Suites
Spacious rooms with additional seating and special touches.
Weeknight rates from $330 per person per night based on double occupancy.*

Pods
Modern, Asian-style sleeping space for 8 with twin beds.
Available for booking in mid-February 2018.
Weeknight rates from $140 per person per night.*

Commuter Pass
Register for a program without spending the night. Includes all meals + use of campus amenities. Limited availability.
Weeknight rates from $95 per program night.***

Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in. Per-person per-night rates include:

  • nourishing farm-to-table meals
  • daily meditation and yoga classes
  • non-ticketed evening events
  • use of all facilities, including the fitness center, steam rooms, and whirlpool.

Guests also enjoy access woodland trails, and enjoy cafés, shops, and evening programs.

*Plus tax. Includes meals, activities, and services. There is an additional charge to book a room privately.
**Plus tax. Includes meals, activities, and services. Limited availability.
***Plus tax. A program night starts upon check-in and goes through lunchtime of the following day (roughly 24 hrs).

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