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Course Catalog

Yearlong in Memoir

In weekly meetings over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year, yearlong classes provide dedicated writers with an intensive path toward finishing a draft of a book. Whether you are early in the writing process or already have a rough draft, these yearlong courses will help you set active, clear goals, as well as write and revise with intention.

One-third of each course focuses on developing proficiency with the writing tools (craft elements) that you will need to use, and the remaining two-thirds are comprised of workshops and writing toward personally devised deadlines.

Yearlong classes in Prose, Memoir, and Young Adult Fiction include a full-day intensive publishing class (May 8) on the book business and finding a market for your book. The class will feature guests, including literary agents, and other individuals from the publishing business.

It is okay to miss some classes because of travel. That said, students who get the most out of yearlong classes are often very dedicated to their writing, and are eager to develop a strong and steady writing practice as well as become part of a tightly knit cohort of writers.

In this craft-focused class, we will discuss aspects of writing a memoir that has enduring value, including: expanding your story to the universal and contracting it to the stunningly specific; generating material once you’ve clarified your story’s arc and themes; writing a scene, a chapter, a section; creating momentum; making your narrator a character; what to include and what to leave out; finding the connective tissue that makes a book cohere; how to open a memoir and how to end it. Part of each class meeting will be allotted to writing.

Registration is by application only. Please submit an application here. The application will open August 17th. Note from the instructor:  The application sometimes worries people, but all it will ask you for is a paragraph describing your memoir project. I’m not evaluating the quality of the project. I just want to ensure that writers wanting to take the class have a fairly clear idea of what their projects will be and are ready to start writing (or continue writing) a draft.

Payment plans available. Contact registrar@hugohouse.org for more information.

Due to COVID-19, all classes will take place online until further notice. If there's a possibility that your class might take place in person, you will be notified in advance. Even if classes can be held in person, there will always be a hybrid option to participate via Zoom.

Classes with "Zoom" in the title will be held via Zoom even after our doors open. Classes listed as "Online" will be held on Wet Ink, our platform for asynchronous learning.

All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Instructor: Theo Nestor

Class Type: 30 sessions

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Term: Fall 2020

Start Date: 09/23/2020

No Class On: 11/25/20, 12/16/20, 12/23/20, 12/30/20, 4/14/21

End Date: 05/19/2021

Days of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 16

$1458.00 Member Price:
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$1620.00 General Price:

Registration for this class has not started.

Theo Nestor

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.

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