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

The Many Voices of Memoir

No Longer Enrolling

  • $85.00 Non-Member
  • $75.00 Member

Class Description

Distinguishing the voices of the character and the narrator in a first-person memoir is tricky. You need to know when to insert the I-narrator's wisdom into a scene, and when to let your character lead. But it's a skill the author of memoir can borrow from fiction to better understand the distinctions.

In this class, we will talk about whose voice is more effective for which moments, and why. We will look at excerpts of memoir such as In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado and essays like The Crane Wife by CJ Hauser to determine who is speaking when: the character or the narrator. Students will engage in in-class writing exercises to help cultivate these two voices of their own, getting practice pulling the strings behind the scenes determining whose voice we need to hear when, and they will leave with a strong sense of when to bring the I-narrator into a scene, and when to let the I-character do the talking.

This class is ideal for memoirists and writers of personal essays.

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!