Mediabistro instructors are all active, working professionals at the top of their fields teaching the latest industry trends. Every class includes live interaction, personalized feedback, and a focus on completing professional-quality work.
Online classes have a dedicated instructor, assignments, live video discussions, and open forums. You’ll get a high level of attention and personalized feedback from your instructor while interacting with fellow students. If you can’t join live, discussions and materials are archived for you to view at any time.
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS You will need access to a computer and speakers or headphones to participate.
You're working on a memoir and you have 20 pages. Or 200. But something isn't quite right -- your voice is too distant. You've nailed the middle but can't figure out where to begin or end. Or maybe you just can't get to the next page.
This advanced level workshop is designed for experienced writers looking for guidance before sending their work to agents and publishers. We'll focus on heavy feedback and revision to create better narrative construction of scene, mining of memory, reporting and research, and the ever-elusive "truth." We'll also focus on pushing beyond the confessional to use first person experience and narration to illuminate a subject beyond the self.
In this class, you will learn how to:
Construct and fine-tune your narrator
Elevate your story by infusing it with a universal take-away
Find the right structure
Know what techniques to borrow from other memoirs
Make every sentence an opportunity
By the end of class, you will have:
A working memoir, with clear steps to finish and submit your manuscript.
Apply with a note to explain your interest in this topic and goals for the course. Please include a two-page writing sample.
Kelly McMasters is the author of Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town. The book was listed as one of Oprah's top 5 summer memoirs and is the basis for the documentary film The Atomic States of America, a 2012 Sundance selection. Her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, River Teeth: A Journal of Narrative Nonfiction, Newsday, Time Out New York, and MrBellersNeighborhood.com. Kelly is the recipient of a Pushcart nomination and an Orion Book Award nomination. She teaches in the undergraduate writing program and journalism graduate school at Columbia University.
"Kelly was incredible. I got an offer from a major publishing house just a few weeks after the class ended!"
"Kelly was generous with instruction and feedback. The class helped me hone a book proposal that promptly attracted a top book agent."
"Kelly is one of the most talented, skillful, and generous instructors I have ever had. She gave us all detailed, constructive feedback and really helped us find universal stories."
"Kelly gives great feedback in a timely manner. She also creates a comfortable environment for students to give and receive feedback from each other."
"Kelly is skilled in bringing out your story and showing you how to make it universal."
"Kelly was an awesome instructor. She coached and guided me through my strengths and weaknesses with professionalism and kindness."
"If you worry about distance learning, I can tell you Kelly will make you feel like you're sitting in her living room. So let's just call it learning. The best kind."
"Kelly is incredibly genuine and truly wants her students to succeed. This class was worth every penny. I have enough information to put together my complete proposal and, hopefully, land a book deal!"
"Kelly was an excellent instructor and provided valuable real-world experience to help me forge a direction for my new project."
"Kelly was a wonderful mentor and guided me through the process. She offered constructive comments that I could understand and use in my rewrite. I highly recommend her."
"Kelly provided valuable input on areas that were working and those that needed improvement. Her tips can be used long after the class is finished and on multiple writing projects."
"If you are serious about writing a memoir, this is the class for you. I praise this class, the instructor, and mediabistro to anyone who will listen!"