Submission Only
Online: Zoom

Advanced Memoir Workshop

10 Thursdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm (EST), starting September 21st.
Online: Zoom
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Level: Advanced
Adult (18+)
This class is full

An 10-week workshop for writers who are seriously engaged in writing a book-length memoir and want to improve their craft. We will focus on helping you find a unique angle, effective structure, and distinctive voice for your memoir. Each week we'll look at exemplary readings and discuss theme development, traditional vs non-traditional structures, characterization, scene vs. summary, time and pacing, narrative arc, outside research, and the real-world consequences and ethical considerations of writing and publishing true-to-life stories. Memoirists and essayists we'll study include, but are not limited to: Hope Jahren, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Emmanuel Carrère, Eduardo Halfon, Jazmina Barrera, Gabriela Wiener, Cristina Rivera Garza, Patti Smith, David Carr, Francisco Goldman, Alfredo Corchado, Joan Didion, Maggie O'Farrell and Pico Iyer. You have three opportunities to workshop material from your memoir over the 10 weeks, and will receive feedback from both your classmates and the instructor. Equally important, each week you are expected to read and critique three workshop submissions from your fellow students. While new writing is encouraged, interested writers should also take this as an opportunity to revise and work through problems with an existing manuscript.

Application Space is limited to 9 students. See below for directions to apply.

Please Note: Class does not meet on November 23rd (Thanksgiving Day). 

Important dates:

Applications are now closed. Applications submitted afer September 4th, 2023, at 11:59PM (EST) will not be reviewed. The payment deadline for admitted students is Monday, September 11th.

To apply, please click the red "SEE DIRECTIONS TO APPLY" button in the top right corner of this page. This application will ask you to detail your workshop experience. It will also ask you to upload a 5-10 page writing sample. Please make sure this writing sample is in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, and in 12-point font. For tracking purposes, your name should appear in the file name (e.g. Smith.Memoir Title.Submission). Decisions will be emailed to applicants approx. 1 week after the deadline. You can also track the status of your application in your Grubstreet profile. Please make sure your application is complete before you finally click "APPLY." If you have any technical difficulties filling out this application, please email [email protected]. You will receive a confirmation email once our system has received your submission.

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Scholarship Information

Please note: In order to be eligible for acceptance into an advanced class, you must submit an application via the “See Directions to Apply” button above. You can then submit a separate scholarship application via the “Apply for Scholarship” button. We cannot consider applicants who only fill out a scholarship application without applying to the class itself.

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Javier Sinay
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Previous Students Say

  • "This Kicked My Butt"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Nonfiction

Commitment Level



Need a scholarship?

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