Guide to Teaching Memoir Writing Workshops

Do something that you love! Get advice & tools from an expert with over 20 years experience teaching.
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  • Lectures 18
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

Welcome! I hope that you will find teaching and lecturing on lifewriting (memoir writing) as rewarding as I have! I think you will. It is so rewarding to be your own boss – whether you offer workshops to supplement your income or as a full time job, you will find yourself astounded on a daily basis at the incredible rewards that come when you are spending time with some amazing people. As you learn things in this course, feel free to rearrange and change whatever you like. If you have suggestions that I have not thought of, I would love to hear them!

In 1999, I began teaching memoir and journaling classes. I have taught workshops at bookstores, senior centers, libraries, community centers, and to individual groups. You can do this to and be a part of preserving history while making money. While teaching Memoir Writing workshops has the potential to become full-time work, it is more likely that you are taking this course to supplement your income or simply because you love lifewriting. Whatever the reason, you won't be sorry you decided to join hundreds of people around the world who are earning money and hearing amazing lifestories.

Learn how to plan, run, and advertise your memoir writing workshops! You'll find lots of samples for scheduling and marketing. My bonus to you is an ebook with sample handouts you can use in your workshop.

Let's have a look at what this course will cover….

We'll cover what memoir writing is and how it differs from autobiography. We'll have a look at the business side of teaching workshops: overcoming your fear of speaking, advertising, finding venues, materials you need, and how to set fees for your workshops.

In Part 4, we'll talk about what takes place IN the classroom: how to set up the room, what to teach, sample lessons, and other in class matters.

Finally, we'll close out the course with some information on what to do after the workshop ends and ways to encourage your students to publish their work.

Part One: What is Memoir?
  • The differences between memoir and autobiography
  • Why should you teach memoir writing?
  • What participants get out of workshopping
  • What you get out of workshopping
  • Sample Workshops - Includes Sample Scheduling handouts that give you sample topics to explore for different workshops and a sample six week schedule outline. You will also find the six week schedule expanded to include step-by-step outline of what you can teach in each session along with suggested exercises for that session.
  • Overcoming Anxiety
Part Two: Before Workshop
  • Business Basics
  • Advertising your workshop
  • Materials you need for workshop
  • Finding venues for workshop
  • Setting fees for your workshop
  • Duration of workshops
Part Three: Marketing the Workshop
  • Advertising & Marketing Materials (with samples!)
  • Press Releases
  • Interviews
  • Social Media
Part Four: During the Workshop
  • Arranging the classroom
  • What to Teach in Workshop
  • Introductions
  • Peer reviewing
  • Lessons You Can Use!
  • Constructing the Memoir

Part Five: After the Workshop

  • Extending the workshop
  • Following up with participants and venues
  • Recommended Books and Articles on Autobiography
  • Promotional Materials you can use in Marketing
  • Recommended Memoirs you can use in class

As a bonus for participating in this course, you will receive a free copy of my book, Lifetales: A Workbook for Writing Your Lifetales. This is a 135 page workbook that contains articles and tips on memoir writing, as well as all of the handouts (and more!) that you received in this course. The Lifetales Workbook, written by me, is the book that I use in my own memoir workshop. This book generally sells for $15 online, but you get it completely FREE as a downloadable PDF with the purchase of this course.

What are the requirements?

  • You should be familiar with basic writing techniques and structures
  • You should be somewhat comfortable speaking with other people, although we will cover overcoming fear of public speaking!
  • I recommend you create a folder system or a notebook to keep all the ideas organized. This way you will be ready to start teaching your workshop after you finish this course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • collect sample handouts and resources to use with your clients
  • overcome fear of public speaking
  • locate the materials you need for your workshop
  • find the best venues to offer your workshops
  • determine how much to charge
  • decide what kind of lessons to include
  • prepare lessons
  • choose the best seating arrangement for your workshop
  • find participants for your workshop
  • create marketing materials
  • lead a writing peer review

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is suited for those who love writing and want to share that love with others.
  • This course is suited for those who want to make a bit of money while sharing their love of writing with others.
  • This course may not be for you if you are looking for help with writing with your own memoir.
  • This course is definitely for you if you are looking for ideas for marketing and leading a writing workshop.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Start Here: Introduction to Workshop

Why should you take this workshop? This lecture will explain to you exactly where this course will take you!


What is the difference between a memoir and an autobiography? What is the difference between an autobiography and a biography?

Be sure to download the resource provided - a handout that I give to my students on keeping a writer's notebook (journal).


Do I Need Experience to be an Instructor?

While this is an excellent career for someone like a businessperson or a teacher, you don't necessarily have to have any experience to lead a workshop.

A workshop of this type is largely facilitated, rather than instructed. What this means is that you will be bringing the material to the participants and sharing it with them. The participants do all the work. You are there to gently guide them, keep them focused, and encourage them to continue.

Section 2: Before the Workshop

What do you need to do before you start your writing workshop business?


A big question I get when talking about making money by offering memoir writing workshops is "How much should I charge participants?"


This video is an example of a slideshow that I show to potential participants and/or venues for memoir writing workshops.

Section 3: Marketing Your Memoir Writing Workshop

After completing this lecture, you will be able to advertise and market your writing workshops.


The Internet is a great way to get the word out about your business. In this lecture, learn some of the ways you can harness the power of the Internet to market your writing workshop.

Section 4: During the Workshop

Think about what kind of environment you want to create for your writing workshop.


You will have a better idea about how to run your workshop class after this lecture.

21 pages

How can you provide samples for your participants? This ebook contains handouts that you can use right away in your workshops!

It includes:

  • The Inner Critic
  • Rules for Writing
  • Getting Started Writing Your Memoir(s)
  • Relationship & Event Lists
  • Central Theme
  • Sample Relationship Chart
  • Sample Blank Relationship Chart
  • Blank Story Map
  • First Drafts Exercise
  • Favorites Exercise
  • Firsts Exercise
  • A sample First paragraph
  • Maps Exercise
  • Memory Sparkers Prompts
  • Additional Writing Exercises Prompts
  • Choices and Challenges Prompts

One of the main components of any writing workshop is the peer review. Here are some tips to facilitating a peaceful and productive peer review session.

1 page

Your participants will surely ask you how they can go about getting their finished memoirs out into the world. Here is a handout you can share with them.

Section 5: After the Workshop
2 pages

You'll find in this lecture ideas for touching base with participants and venues when the writing workshop is over, which is key to keeping your business moving forward.

1 page

What happens when the workshop is over? Here are some ways that you can offer additional guidance to your participants so that they will keep writing!


Here are some books you may find interesting on memoir and autobiography writing.


Feel free to use these articles and content for promotional use. All I ask is that you retain my name and information with the articles.

Section 6: Bonus Materials

This is a 135 page workbook that contains articles and tips on memoir writing, as well as all of the handouts (and more!) that you received in this course. This book generally sells for $15 online, but you get it completely FREE as a downloadable PDF with the purchase of this course.

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Instructor Biography

Karen Hamilton Silvestri, Poet, Writer, Artist, Teacher - but above all, a storyteller

Karen leads workshops in Creative Writing, Poetry and Journal Therapy, and Memoir Writing. She has studied genealogy and personal histories since 1987, lecturing and leading workshops on Memoir Writing and Journaling to the community since 1998. Karen holds a BA in English, an MFA in Creative Writing, and has studied Literature, Business, and Education at the graduate level. She is a former instructor of English Composition and Reading at several community colleges in the United States. In the past, Karen has worked as an editor, a copywriter, a secondary school teacher, an instructional specialist, and a curriculum writer.

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