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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Building Your Memoir's World

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

"Worldbuilding” calls to mind fictional settings–Hogwarts, Gatsby’s mansion, Alice’s Wonderland–but creating vivid worlds on the page is just as essential in creative nonfiction. For writers of memoir, evoking detailed, engaging worlds is one of the best ways to make readers care about our stories. What’s more, we have the opportunity to introduce readers to our interior worlds, immersing them in the complex web of our thoughts, feelings, and psyche. But how do we craft rich worlds for the reader while being limited to our lived experiences? What if we don’t remember what the weather was like that day we decided to skip town? And how do we decide what details to include and which to leave out?

Using the works of writers like Sarah M. Broom, Carmen Maria Machado, and Susannah Cahalan, we’ll discuss how memoirists craft worlds on the page that keep readers hooked from start to finish. We’ll also address some of the practical challenges of worldbuilding in memoir, including memory gaps and knowing what details to include and leave out.

Through in-class writing prompts and craft lessons, you’ll leave class with a toolbox of ways to apply worldbuilding techniques to your own personal narratives.


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

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.

Scholarships Format/Location

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.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!