You do not need to be the world’s youngest surgeon/senator/CEO in order to write a memoir. You can write about your dog if you do it well. Memoir is all in the telling. Together, we’ll explore the possibilities of dramatic presentation—how you can take a seemingly small-stakes memory, and very little action, and methodically create the conditions for conflict. To accomplish this, we’ll study excerpts from contemporary memoirs and follow writing prompts inspired by each.
Jeannie Vanasco is the author of the memoirs Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl—which was named a New York Times Editors' Choice and a best book of 2019 by TIME, Esquire, Kirkus, among others—and The Glass Eye, which Poets & Writers called one of the five best literary nonfiction debuts of 2017. Her third book, A Silent Treatment, is forthcoming. Vanasco is an associate professor of English at Towson University where she teaches creative writing.