POLISH YOUR MEMOIR IN 5 WEEKS by Dorit Sasson
START DATE: This class is currently closed.
DURATION: 5 weeks
- Do you want to expand your knowledge of craft of memoir writing?
- Is one of your goals to publish your memoir and build your platform?
Whether your intention is to prepare sample chapters of your memoir for an agent or publisher, this 5-week class will ensure that you will get around to revising those chapters, by providing firm deadlines and weekly feedback from both your instructors and peers. Along the way you’ll learn important elements of craft including how to write and structure your scenes supported by narrative summary, extrapolating reflections and takeaways, building characterization and more. Think of this class as a mini summer boot camp with handholding and support. At the end of 5 weeks, if you’ve done the revisions, you’ll feel confident about submitting your work to an agent or publisher and you’ll have a revised chapter.
Note: Class sessions will be in the form of handouts, powerpoints, and videos. Students will submit their assignments and receive student and instructor feedback.
I hired Dorit to edit my second memoir for story structure, readability, and clarity of the narrative arc. I knew my story was flawed in terms of structure and delivery and was looking for a substantive, honest review by an objective professional whose work I admire. As an author of one award-winning memoir and one pending publication, Dorit has a solid grasp of the art and craft of memoir writing. She provided me with insightful and substantive feedback which forced me to dig deeper into my narrative, round out my characters and gain clarity on my theme/arc. Her comments were constructive, informative and clear. As a result, I feel inspired to work within her guidelines and feel that her review will help me take my story to the next level. I highly recommend Dorit Sasson as a professional editor. She is credible and constructive, balancing posiitve feedback with areas that need more work. And perhaps, most important, I trusted her with my story and feel I have given it the best possible chance to succeed. ~ Kathy Pooler, author of Ever Faithful to His Lead
Dorit Sasson joined our editorial team in 2018 as a nonfiction and memoir specialist and has been a tremendous help to our authors. She has guided them in developing their ideas and stories and honing them until they have a finished book they can feel confident publishing. Dorit is a smart and compassionate editor, and will do wonders with your book! ~ Naomi Kim Eagleson, founder of The Artful Editor
The Blog Your Memoir class was both informational and inspirational. The tips were great for the practical side of things and helped generate ideas for topics to blog about. I also like your idea of sharing your courage and the approach from working with your passion and the rest will follow. ~ Maureen Hinds, MFA
I am a very low-tech person having grown up before the age of IT and computer dependence. As a writer and artist I needed to expand my skills and learn how to enhance my blog and my online presence. Dorit’s class was easy to follow and shared lots of information that I could use in expanding my platform. I learned how to write a meaningful blog post with enhanced keywords and how to be sure my blog was being seen by as wide an audience as possible. Her instructions are clear and she was always quick to respond with answers to my questions. Anyone looking to extend their online reach should take this course. ~ Renee Cassese
I was getting my manuscript ready for my publisher, and knew it was time to create a marketing plan, and knew that blogging a book was going to be part of the process and voila, “Dorit’s Blog Your Fiction or Non-fiction Book and Reach Your Target Readers” appeared in my email inbox. I wanted to figure out how to use my current Journal Writing Power blog in building my book reader community. I wanted to learn more about how to maximize the blogging process to build my platform and increase book sales. I wanted to learn how to do more than blog chapters of my book. I got specifics on how to pull themes and details from my book and get them into keyword-friendly, niche reader-friendly blog posts. I got details on what elements to include in successful blog posts. I’m putting together a Blog My Book plan and schedule which includes outlining topic posts list that I came up with in class, doing guest post blog opportunities research and rereading my class lessons for additional ideas and pearls of wisdom. ~ Mari McCarthy of Create Write Now
I was not comfortable blogging. That may be an understatement. It was an experience I agonized over and I would have preferred to have a root canal. As a result of Dorit’s coaching, I learned the differences between traditional journalling and blogging. I am more focused on refining the key words that will brand my blog to my book. Now blogging comes more naturally. I am brave enough to post my blogs and feel a sense of accomplishment when I do so. Many people have liked my blog posts, I have gotten comments as well as new followers. ~ Martha Grahm-Waldon, author of Nothing Like Normal
Before taking Dorit’s program, I used to struggle with what story or blog post to share as well as how and where I would share it. It wasn’t clear to me exactly what I wanted to communicate. I knew my listeners/readers would benefit from my personal story so they could connect with me and get how I would help them. I simply didn’t know which story! So I didn’t blog anything. I felt blogging my book was more of a chore than a labor of love. I lacked confidence in how I was communicating and felt I couldn't engage my target audience.
While listening to Dorit about how to blog my book, I began to unravel where my story would be of most value and what parts of the book to blog. I became inspired by blogging my book without having to wait until the book was published! I am now feeling more optimistic and confident about how to connect with my target audience as well as the difference my book content and story can make to those who read it. I have an increased awareness of how to blog my book. I’m so grateful Dorit created this program as it has been a tremendous help to get me unstuck and blogging again. Thank you, Dorit! ~ Maeve Crawford, The Soul Mate Catalyst
WEEKS AT A GLANCE:
Week 1: How to Write in Scene
We’ll discuss how to structure a scene and bring it to life with narrative elements including characterization, reflections/takeaways, narrative drive, and more. We’ll also dive into balancing the action of a scene with narrative summary and exposition.
Assignment: You will draft/revise a scene of no more than 1,500 words using a guided checklist.
Week 2: Tools that Support Structure in Memoir
We’ll discuss structure and why it matters specifically for memoir. We’ll look at memoir exhibiting different kinds of structure and how to structure your memoir using timelines of defining moments, your chapter titles and table of contents.
Assignment: You will apply the strategies on structure from week 2 to your revised scenes (week 1) and submit for review and feedback. You’ll get detailed suggestions for revisions.
Week 3: How to Make a Point – Theme Writing
In this lesson, we’ll dive into writing that reflects a theme and we’ll reinforce techniques such as reflections and takeaways to make sure that the chapter you are working on is doing something particular to make your point. We’ll differentiate between turning points and incidents. We’ll also look at examples of themes with supported turning points.
Assignment: You’ll submit a new scene of 1,500 words applying the strategies from weeks 1 and 2. You’ll get detailed suggestions for revision.
Week 4: Traditional Story Arcs and How to Fit Your Memoir in Them
In this lesson, we’ll look at the definition of story arc, plot, character development, character arc in memoir and we’ll apply of the definitions to the existing structures and scenes. We’ll also look at what constitutes narrative drive and how the story continues to push forward, the tension/curiosity builds and what is the decision, action or resolution of a given moment in time.
Assignment: You’ll complete exercises to get yourself thinking about your traditional story arcs.
Week 5: Putting It All Together and Next Revision Steps
Polishing steps, publishing goals, and things to consider when pitching.
Materials needed: The instructor will post each of the 5 weeks’ lessons with exercises at the opening of each week, so you can work on generating that writing on your own time and pace during the week. She will respond to posted work within 24 – 48 hours so the writer can get started on revising. Revisions can be posted at any time during our five weeks together.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Dorit Sasson is the founder of the Giving Voice to Your Courage website and global radio show. Her mission is to help authors and entrepreneurs give voice to their stories and the powerful messages that lie within their book by blogging as an engaging way to build their platforms. As a memoirist, blogger and copywriter, Dorit models vulnerability and authenticity that help break down barriers and allow others to weave their stories with content. Dorit is a regular contributor to the The Huffington Post. Her cultural memoir, Accidental Solder: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage and Love is a heroine’s journey of how Dorit was able to find her own voice in a foreign, militaristic society. Her new upcoming memoir, Sand and Steel: A Memoir of Longing and Finding Home (2019), explores the idea of transforming our longing into belonging.
COST: $170, which includes weekly assignments and individual feedback from the instructor.
BUY NOW: Polish Your Memoir in 5 Weeks, by Dorit Sasson (5 weeks, starting 7/2/2019) Limit: 8 students. Early registration is recommended.
This class is now closed. Please check out the current schedule here.