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What the Program Includes

108 Hours of Instruction

  • For the 12-month program, students meet in three-hour workshops on Tuesday evenings predominately at GrubStreet HQ, interleaved with pre-planned Zoom sessions. Workshops are led by instructor Xujun Eberlein, who also provides written feedback and lectures on various elements of the craft of memoir-writing. These classes will include analysis of published memoirs and impromptu discussions about the memoir-writing process. The workshop schedule includes breaks to allow for vacation time, especially in the summer and over the winter holidays. Because workshop participation is crucial, the full 12-month schedule will be available to students at the time students are notified of acceptance into the program.

Individual consultations with the instructor

  • After each workshop, students whose manuscripts were workshopped will meet with the instructor individually on a mutually agreed-upon date and time. The goal of these meetings is to allow the writer to synthesize the multiple perspectives students have heard at the workshop meetings, as well as strategize more specific plans for their work. Each writer will receive a minimum of 9 hours of individual consultation, including meetings following each workshop, amid breaks, and after the writer’s editorial consultation with the Second Reader (see below), as well as a 2-hour meeting after the Muse & Marketplace conference. These hours are student-directed and project-focused, designed to augment the curriculum with instruction that is particular to each student's specific projects and goals, and help the writer to come up with a concrete plan for next steps.

Weekly word count check-ins

  • To ensure that your manuscript develops, you will turn in 2000 words of rough draft or 3000 words of revised material every week the Incubator is in session. These words will not be workshopped, but everyone will be required to complete them. The more you write, the easier it is to write!

Additional full memoir consultation and meeting with established author

  • As part of the course, students receive detailed written feedback on their revised memoir draft as well as a one hour face-to-face or phone/Zoom discussion with an established author who will act as a Second Reader. This meeting is typically scheduled to occur during the third phase of the class, depending on readers’ availability. The program considers this outside voice vital in providing a well-rounded response to the memoir as a whole.

Manuscript Mart appointment at the Muse and the Marketplace 2025

  • The Muse and the Marketplace has become one of most successful literary conferences in the country. In this three-day symposium, participants choose from over 100 sessions on various writing-related topics. Sessions are led by established authors from Boston and beyond, top-notch editors and literary agents, and members of the GrubStreet faculty.
  • The Manuscript Mart is an opportunity to have five pages of the student's manuscript read by an agent or editor, who will meet with the student for twenty minutes at the conference to provide critical feedback.

Tell-All Boston Reading Series

  • Students are invited to submit to Tell-All Boston, a seasonal nonfiction reading series run by graduates of the Memoir and Essay Incubator Programs. After graduating from the Memoir Incubator students may join the Tell-All committee or work on other alumni initiatives.

Graduates of the program also join a supportive community of alumni, who share and celebrate one another's publishing successes, discuss writing in social groups, and help curate post-program activities.

Submission Requirements & Tuition Learn More

All you need to know about what to include with your submission, tuition, and fellowships! From your writing sample, to your project description, to your personal statement, and more.


The Memoir Incubator program has been exactly what I needed, in ways I didn't know I needed.

- Molly Howes

"The Memoir Incubator program has been exactly what I needed, in ways I didn't know I needed. The structure of the program requires us to produce and revise work; the demanding schedule includes lots of reviewing and workshopping the other participants' work - which also turns out to be enormously valuable. Our class has become a wonderful, trustworthy source of feedback and suggestions. The craft lessons often hurt my head, I am learning so much.

I started this program with a strong idea and a good chunk of my book drafted. I now have the full draft of a slightly different book written and am feeling confident about the next steps. An ideal program for me. I believe that's also true for all my classmates."

— Molly Howes