Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Memoir in a Year Part I: Writing the First Draft of Your Book-Length Memoir (Will meet on-line)

August 6, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm EST

Instructor: Sharon Harrigan
$1,399* Members | $1,399* Nonmembers
Select Thursdays, 3/5/2020 – 2/18/2021** | 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
*Payment plans of $360.25 per quarter will be available for students accepted to this program.
**For a complete list of dates, please see the 2020 Memoir in a Year Part I Syllabus

Have a powerful life story you absolutely must tell? Looking for support as you harness the power of that narrative?

During Memoir in a Year Part I: Writing the First Draft of your Book-Length Memoir you’ll study memoir craft and technique, workshop key scenes, and most importantly, focus on writing your book. This generative class offers an opportunity to join a writing cohort, learn specific aspects of craft, give and receive feedback, measure your progress, and meet deadlines during the long slog from idea to manuscript.

The first hour of every class will be devoted to creating new material for your book. Centering meditations and prompts will be provided; however, what you write will be up to you. The second and third hours will focus on craft discussions, workshops, and analysis of texts.

This will be an MFA-level class. Class size is limited to 9, and participants must apply for admission.

Included in Class
• 23 class sessions at 3 hours
• 1 one-hour one-on-one sessions

Potential Add-ons
• 3 one-hour writing coaching session pack – $135
• 6 one-hour writing coaching session pack – $240
• Half-manuscript (up to 40,000 words) review with editorial letter – $325

For more information regarding class dates, topics covered, and class materials, please check out the 2020 Memoir in a Year Part I Syllabus.

Prerequisite: Students must have taken at least two classes in memoir or creative nonfiction at WriterHouse or another educational institution. In some cases, this prerequisite may be waived based on the quality of the student submission or related experiences. Please send any questions to programs@writerhouse.org.

Submission Requirements:

• A brief personal statement (no more than 350 words) that includes a proposal for your project, your background, and expectations for this class.
• A list of any nonfiction writing classes you’ve taken and where they were offered.
• A ten-page writing sample. While it would be helpful if this sample was related to your book, other work is acceptable. Choose something that exemplifies your style and skills as a writer.

The application period is closed and this class is full.


About the Instructor:

Sharon Harrigan is the author of Playing with Dynamite: A Memoir (Truman State University Press, 2017), which Kirkus Reviewscalled “a warm, engaging read about the ways in which memory distorts our understanding of family.” She has an MFA in creative writing and has published more than 50 essays, short stories, and reviews in the New York Times (Modern Love), Virginia Quarterly Review, Narrative, Real Simple, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, has taught at WriterHouse since 2012, and has a novel and poetry collection forthcoming in 2020.


“Sharon’s lessons were always so interesting and helpful. She has a depth of knowledge about literature that informs her teaching and helps her students with their writing.”

“She’s amazing. Calm, rational voice, always inclusive, brilliant critiques.”

“She read sensitively and deeply. She always said what she liked, so I felt encouraged. When she suggested improvements, I felt as if she and I were on the same ride—both wanted the best for this book.”

“Sharon was a gem of an instructor—empathetic, yet ultimately concerned that we grow as writers. Able to help us understand how to work together as a group—and to encourage good skills, techniques, and useful tactics in memoir writing.”

“She is a dedicated and delightful teacher. She has a remarkable ability to distill the meaning and the heart of a piece of work.”

“Sharon was very organized and had put considerable thought into readings, discussions, and prompts. She challenged us, but without pressure.”


August 6, 2020
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Event Categories:
, ,


Sharon Harrigan