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"Memoir Essentials" 3-Class Package

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Two locations, Austin, TX


$147 for members (sign in for member pricing)


While all narrative writing follows certain common storytelling conventions, memoir writers do encounter challenges specific to their genre: how to write what they imperfectly remember, how to make sense of those memories, and how to distill them for shorter forms. This series of classes offer strategies and approaches for all three of those issues.

Everyone who registers for the package will also receive one complimentary online class of their choice (to be taken between August 27, 2018 and December 31, 2018). The deadline to register for the package is September 27, 2018. Before purchasing, be sure to check the dates. As always, there are no refunds on classes (you can find our policy at the bottom of this page).


"Memoir in Miniature: The Art of the Personal Essay" with M. M. Adjarian

     Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 78704

Learn the art of the personal essay through in-depth, guided discussion of models by contemporary writers and exercises designed to help you craft a 500 word+ mini personal essay (also known as "flash" nonfiction) that you can use as the basis for (1) a more substantial essay (2500+ words), suitable for journal submission or (2) the seed for a book-length project. The class is intended for writers of all levels, from beginner to advanced, and will explore how to sift through story material to find those all-important tension points that make people take notice, grab readers by the throat from the start with compelling openings and “shoot straight from the gut” to avoid the narrative clichés guaranteed to turn readers off.

M. M. (Maude) Adjarian has published her essays, short fiction and poetry in such journals as the Baltimore Review, Grub Street, Verdad, South 85, The Serving House Journal, Pif, Gravel, Glint and Crack the Spine, among others. A senior non-fiction book reviewer at Kirkus, her articles have also appeared in Arts+Culture Texas, Bitch Magazine, Tribeza-Austin and the Dallas Voice. Currently, she is at work on a family memoir provisionally titled This Life That Binds.


"Tackling the Problem of Memory in Memoir" with Rachel Starnes

     Saturday, October 20, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

     ACC Highland, Austin, TX 78752

This class will examine the problem of memory by drawing on a blend of literature, art, and neuroscience in order to grapple with the question of how one selects, recounts, and handles moments of imperfect memory in the writing of memoir. Often, the stakes of these moments are high and various conflicting versions of a story exist. Did it really happen that way? Why do the witnesses disagree, and what does this mean for how I tell the story? At the heart of the issue is the question, “How does the memoirist acknowledge the flawed nature of memory while constructing a reliable narrative persona?”

Rachel Starnes is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir The War at Home: A Wife's Search for Peace and Other Missions Impossible. She received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from California State University, Fresno and her BA from the University of Texas. Her essays have appeared in The Colorado Review, Front Porch Journal, and O Magazine. Born in Austin, Texas, she has lived in Scotland, Texas, Saudi Arabia, Florida, California, and Nevada.


"Developing Your Perspective in Memoir" with Charlotte Gullick

     Saturday, November 3, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 78704

Memoirist Phillip Lopate asserts that those who write memoir must develop a double-perspective on the past: the self who lived the experiences and the current self who grapples with, contemplates, and re-evaluates those experiences. Writers of this genre need to offer meaning and context to the moments we feel called to bring to the page, and we can hone our ability to do this with practice, play, and perspective-shifting. In this class, students will learn to recognize turning points in their life stories, develop their current lens on past events, and work with imagery and setting to deepen the narrative.


Charlotte Gullick is Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. She holds BA in Literature/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz and a MA in English/Creative Writing from UC Davis as well as a MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her awards include a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, and residencies at MacDowell and Ragdale.



St. Edward's University, 3001 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, Trustee Hall 303. You can find a St. Edward's University campus map here.

ACC Highland Campus, Building 4000, Room 1130.02, 6101 Airport Boulevard, Austin, TX 78752. You can find an ACC Highland campus map here.



$147 members only (sign in for member pricing)

$327 nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Registration for this 3-class package (which includes a complimentary online class) will close at the end of Thursday, September 27. After that you can register for the classes individually at the regular rate - $49 for members and $109 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit


The Writers' League of Texas would like to thank St. Edward's University for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit