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In this course, you will be guided through the initial stages of writing a memoir. In the first two weeks of class, you will work on honing in on your manuscript’s focus and creating an outline for your project. Throughout the remaining weeks, you will work on the first two chapters of your memoir. In-class discussion and lecture topics: narrative arc, story structure, thematic drive, how to write and sell a book proposal, and writing an opening chapter that catches fire. Students will have the opportunity to workshop a manuscript excerpt. Upon completing the course assignments, you’ll leave the course with your memoir’s opening chapters and a detailed plan for completing your book.
Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006.