Hope Edelman: Writing the Story of Your Life at 1440 Multiversity

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Writing the Story of Your Life

Getting Over the First Hurdle

May 6 - 11, 2018

Sunday - Friday, 5 nights

$425 Tuition

Plus 5 nights all-inclusive accommodations priced separately

Registration Closed

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!

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  • Faculty Bio
    Hope Edelman, MA

    Author, writing instructor, grief and loss coach

    Hope Edelman is a grief and loss coach, sought-after public speaker, and the best-selling author of Motherless DaughtersMotherless Mothers, and the memoir The Possibility of Everything. Her books have been published in 16 countries and inspired a worldwide movement for motherless women.

    A Martha Beck-trained life coach specializing in grief and loss, Hope has developed three custom-designed programs for clients and has led Motherless Daughters groups and annual luncheons around the world. She co-leads Motherless Daughters Retreats and events, including an expedition for motherless women through the Andes, during which the group trekked above 15,000 feet and volunteered at an orphanage in Peru.

    Hope holds a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa, and has been teaching memoir writing for more than 25 years, most recently in the MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies ranging from the New York Times to Real Simple and CNN.com. She is an Alumni Fellow at the University of Iowa and an inductee in the Medill Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University.

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  • 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/Schedule

    Program Schedule

    Download a sample schedule.


    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.

  • About 1440 Multiversity

    Beautifully nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, our 75-acre campus is within easy reach of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

    1440 Multiversity is a place to spend time engaging some of life's most meaningful personal questions and to enjoy, restore, and reenergize yourself as you do it.

    You'll find new energy through immersion learning—setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on important, but often elusive, priorities. Our unique collaboration with world-class faculty coupled with an original, inspirational curriculum and magnificent grounds make this a place like no other. Add in fresh, redwood-scented air, delicious and healthy food, deep reflection, fun exercise, and good sleep and you've pretty much captured what you'll experience here.

  • Accommodations

    At 1440 Multiversity, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to meet your preferences and budget. All of our rooms have been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, promote reflection, and foster connection with others.

    Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in.

    Per-person per-night rates include:

    • nourishing locally sourced, seasonal meals
    • daily meditation and yoga classes
    • non-ticketed evening events
    • use of all facilities, including the Fitness Center, steam rooms, and infinity-edge hot tub.

    Guests also enjoy access to woodland trails, cafés, and shops.

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