So you have a draft of a memoir, and now you want to shape your story into a compelling narrative. How do you do this without sacrificing the integrity of the story? Which details of your research and/or life should you include? How do you make art out of this mess of details? Our intensive class will examine several fine examples of uniquely structured memoirs, from classics to newer, multi-genre experimental works. We will also work on short exercises to jump-start our creative structuring processes. We will walk away from this class with a renewed sense of purpose and a refreshing sense of opportunity. Our takeaway: The memoir is limitless.
Though students do not need a full manuscript to enter the class, they should have a sense of story and/or a fair amount of research they would like to structure. At the end of the class, each student will receive an email from the instructor including a review of their work in the course and individualized strategies for moving forward with their memoir.
Garrard Conley is the author of the memoir Boy Erased (Penguin/Riverhead, 2016) and the forthcoming novel, Cana: a romance (Penguin/Riverhead). He is the creator and producer of the podcast Unerased: the History of Conversion Therapy in America (Stitcher, 2018). He has written for The New York Times, The Oxford American, The Independent, TIME, VICE, CNN, and others. Conley currently holds an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing position at Kennesaw State University and is the Executive Director of Georgia Writers. He is currently at work on a book of criticism and a novel.