Memoir Incubator

In a Nutshell

A competitive and affordable MFA-level course, spanning 12 months, for ten memoir writers interested in drafting, developing or revising their memoir drafts, a comprehensive craft-based study of the memoir form, and, as appropriate, a thoughtful introduction to the memoir publishing market. Please consider attending our Memoir Incubator Open House and Info Session on Tuesday, February 9th, 2021, from 6:30pm-7:30pm.

Applications for the 2021-2022 cycle are now closed. All applicants will hear back by early May.

See more information about our submission guidelines, instructors, and students.

Date of Course: June 2021 - May 2022

Covid-19 Update

GrubStreet is planning to hold all of its classes using Zoom video conferencing until it becomes safe to meet in person in Boston. We are monitoring the public health situation closely, and while we expect this program will be able to meet in person in Boston eventually, all applicants should be prepared to participate via Zoom for as long as necessary.

Prospective applicants should either be local to Massachusetts/Boston area, or able to relocate in the event that the class can at some point meet in person. GrubStreet will be following the lead of health experts and the city of Boston, and working alongside other arts organizations in our decision-making regarding in-person classes. In the event that it’s absolutely safe to meet again, the opportunity will be provided to our intensive programs to gather in person. We will of course offer the possibility to participate remotely if a student is unable to attend in person for health reasons, but as with previous years, local community building is an integral aspect of these programs.

Overview and Goals

The year will be divided into three sections. In the first, lasting eleven weeks, writers will receive craft lessons and intensive workshopping of their manuscript pages, considered alongside the synopsis. The second section, lasting fifteen weeks, will be devoted to in-depth analysis of the memoir form, with special attention paid to structure and the art of excerpting material into brief essays. Each writer will be workshopped three times. We’ll separate the second and third sections with a one-month period of intense writing. Then we’ll reconvene for a third section, lasting ten weeks, in which each writer’s full set of manuscript pages are again workshopped. At various points during the year, prominent authors, editors and/or agents may visit or Skype in as guest speakers. Authors will also meet with the class at a local pub, as part of an ongoing salon series. And as part of the third section of the class, students will be paired with an agent and/or editor at the Manuscript Mart at the three-day Muse and the Marketplace conference; this agent or editor will read an excerpt of the student's memoir with an eye toward possible representation.

Writers will emerge from a year in the Memoir Incubator with a clear understanding of what story they are telling and how to tell it. They will be urged and supported to finish a draft or a substantial portion of their memoir; some writers will be able to revise their way to a polished manuscript while others work on finishing enough draft to revise their conception of their book, and leave the course with a plan to complete it. In addition to their work on their larger manuscripts, students have the opportunity to excerpt an essay, revise it, and create a personalized submission plan with the help of the instructor.

All classes will be held on Monday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm.

"Memoir Incubator has been a real gift. I know that soon, my memoir will be finished and ready to pitch. What you learn in the Incubator is not only how to write well, you learn why one line is a good and another needs to go. You learn how and where to start. Your writing also improves as you work through other Incubees' writing. You learn that you're not alone when you consider giving up. Memoir Incubator is intense. It's at times overwhelming but it's been one of the best years of my life."

-Rudy Wilson Galdonik


If you have specific questions about the Memoir Incubator program, email [email protected] or call the office anytime at 617.695.0075.

We are moving!

Did you know GrubStreet will be moving
to a brand new space in 2020?

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