Journey to the Page: Writing Your Life Stories
April 23 - June 18$365
Events, moments, and stretches of time pass, but capturing them in writing preserves them forever. Whether you are writing for friends, loved ones, or for a wider audience through publication, writing from your life experiences is one of the richest ways to create a story, and one of the most rewarding.
In this introductory online life writing/memoir course, we work with true-to-life stories from your past and present. Like a message in a bottle, you take your material- a particular experience you want to revisit and share (the message)- tuck it safely into a form (the bottle), and throw it (style) into the world.
Each week is structured to have writing assignments on different memory-jogging topics ranging from love to home to family. Readings from a variety of writers who have explored memoir and life writing will serve as examples from which we model our writing or use as triggers: Kathryn Harrison, Frank McCourt, Patti Smith, James Baldwin, etc., and we’ll discuss how they structure and style their stories.
In our course, we share our writing with each other and our comments and feedback spark conversation and further inspiration. These short exercises will be the building blocks for your final personal essay (which also may wind up being the beginning of a longer piece).
Alice Neiley’s creative non-fiction prose has appeared in Eckleburg Review, Provincetown Arts Magazine, and Underwater New York, and her poetry in Vantage Point, Nashville Review, and Tahoma Review. She received a BA in English Literature from the University of Vermont and an MFA from Hunter College, where she was a Hertog fellow and a teaching fellow. She is currently an adjunct professor of writing and literature at Champlain College, and regularly writes album reviews for a handful of independent musician clientele.