KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE between memoir and autobiography is essential to writing successfully in either genre, and yet it is probably the single most misunderstood aspect of both. So let’s get this straight once and for all. [Read more…]
GETTING PUBLISHED IN AN ANTHOLOGY is something I regularly recommend as a goal to my memoir coaching clients. It’s a joy to see your piece of memoir included in a book, of course, but the work to get included in an anthology can also be one of great collaboration and learning, during which a writer can absorb an education about writing and editing to theme and space. Such is the case for Dan New, a friend and student, whose experience with the just-published anthology, The Weight of My Armor, will inspire you to consider getting your own work into an anthology.
I’m going to let him tell it in this guest post, but not before I say that there are few feelings I know as deeply moving as seeing in print something I first read in one of my classes. I remember exactly what I felt when I first read his essay, The Trip Home. The wonder has only increased over time. Seeing it in print in this fine new book is an almost inexpressible joy for me.
First, though, here is Dan’s answer to my question of how his inclusion in this marvelous new book came about. Following, with the kind permission from his publisher, is The Trip Home. [Read more…]
IF YOU CONTACT ME about my memoir coaching and writing instruction, and if you tell me the memoir topics you want to braid together in one book include love of food, the struggle to come out and be gay, and how to live with being bipolar, don’t be surprised by my reaction. I will say something like, “Sure,” “You bet,” or “No problem.” What I won’t say is that it can’t be done, because I happen to know that it can. In fact, not only can it be done, but it can be done beautifully, heroically and with terrific writing. How do I know? Because I had the great good fortune to work with David Leite on his just-published book, Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression, and that’s just what he did. [Read more…]
THE BEST WAY TO GET A BOOK DEAL is to write something spectacular, publish it in a solid publication and attract a lot of attention. No, that is not written sarcastically or flippantly. It’s just good, solid advice, as well as advice that has not been the least bit changed by even the newest of new media. It’s also advice I give you openly and freely knowing that I can back it up with some solid examples. [Read more…]
WHAT IS A MEMOIR? I think of memoir as three-legged stool, designed specifically to hold up your story. In other words, it has requirements – four, to be precise: your story and three others – and learning them will allow you to write this wondrous form. [Read more…]