The Craft of Memoir: Finding Your Emotional Stakes (2-Part) - Remote!

2 Fridays from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST), starting June 4th.
Remote! (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full
Using excerpts from the Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick, and other writers, we'll examine the importance of overarching conflict in the memoir genre, its connection to theme, and explore ways to locate the forces that drive our protagonists and the internal and external conflicts that propel our stories.

The series will blend short readings and writing exercises, centered around the following questions:
--What is the inciting incident, or a key event that sets your story in motion?
--How can you identify a turning point, with emotional stakes for the protagonist?
--What does your protagonist learn by going on this journey of discovery, and how might you, as the writer, keep your reader engaged?

By the end of this 2-part workshop, students will have identified the primary overarching conflicts in their memoir or essay and will have the tools necessary to heighten the tension and primary conflicts in their work.

About GrubStreet Remote Classes

This class will be hosted using live Zoom meetings! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! 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 via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

For a glimpse at how remote learning works, look no further than the deep Zoom discussion of writing and literature below:

Scholarship Information

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

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Judah Leblang
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Great for Newbies"


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Workshop
  • Class Discussion
  • Writing Homework


  • Book-Length Memoir

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