Friday, October 3, 2008

LWP Blog Roll

Summer 2009 LWP Memoir Class


Fall 2008 LWP Conference Blogging Workshop


Memoir Class Summer 2008

Mary Alice

Summer Institute 2008

* Chris
* Cynthia
* Debbie
* Elizabeth
* Jenny
* Lauren
* Leslee
* Stephanie
* Tara
* Tom

Memoir Class Fall 2007

Anne Knight

Summer Institute 2007


LWP Conference Blogging Workshop 2008

This is an example of a homework or "turn-it-in" post. I use the class blog to collect assignments all in one place for easy saving, printing, or sharing. Even if you never have students create their own blogs, you can still create a class blog, and use it to gather information like this.

To Turn-It-In:

* Click on the "comment" link below
* Enter your info
* Type into the editing window your new blog's web address
* Also type a paragraph or so about how you think you could use blogs in your teaching
* Hit "Publish"
* Hit "Refresh" to see your post!
* We will share and discuss . . .

Friday, July 18, 2008

What did you learn?

Please post a comment here telling us what you learned from this class. Thanks!

Name your anthology piece

Please click on "comments" below to tell us which piece on your blog you want us to put in the class anthology.

Publishing Short Memoir

Some hints for publication:

* Read the publication to which you want to submit
* Send what they ask for -- query letter, complete submission, excerpt, clips, bio
* Develop a relationship with the editor (never be a diva)

How to Find Markets

* The Writer's Market

Anthologies Currently Accepting Submissions

Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

* List of Upcoming Books
* Story Guidelines
* Submission page

Cup of Comfort Series

* Introduction (explanation of who we are and what we are doing)
* Call for Submissions


* Charleston Magazine


How to Find Contests

* Writer's Digest Contests

Submit 10,000 words or fewer by email or snail mail: only one submission per person. Deadline October 31, 2007.
$500 Prize and publication in our Fall Issue. Click here to read more.


WOW! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, communication, and well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. We are open to all styles of writing, although we do encourage you to take a close look at our guest judge for the season and the flavor of our sponsor, if you are serious about winning. We love creativity, originality, and light-hearted reads. That's not to say that our guest judge will feel the same... so go wild! Express yourself, and most of all, let's have some fun!


Maximum: 1200

Minimum: 800

The title is not to be counted in your word count. We use MS Word's word count to determine the submitted entry's word count.

Story slant: Geared toward women readers, light-hearted to funny, imaginative, creative—you get it--*original*.

THIS IS INTENDED ONLY TO SPARK YOUR CREATIVITY. STORIES MUST BE ABOUT LUCK (GOOD OR BAD), SERENDIPITY, A MISSED OPPORTUNITY, OR KARMA. Only stories that have the Prompt incorporated in them will be accepted. You may do this any creative way you would like, just make sure anyone would know you wrote your story specifically for this contest.

For more information, click here.

Literary Magazines

For a listing of literary magazines, go here at

Some examples:

* Fourth Genre
* Memoir Journal

You can post publishing opportunities you've encountered by clicking on "comments" and leaving your information. Thanks for sharing information!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Particpant's Blogs

Click on these links to visit the Memoir 2008 blogs:

Mary Alice

Monday, July 7, 2008

Literary Events

Monday Night Blues at East Bay Meeting House (coffee shop/bar) with featured writers from 8 pm - 9 pm, then open mike for poets and songwriters. Every Monday at 159 East Bay St. in downtown Charleston.

Tues, July 8th. Bret Lott will be signing copies of his new book on writing, Before We Get Started: A Practical Memoir of the Writer's Life, at the Barnes and Noble in Mt. Pleasant at 8 pm.

About the book from

Lott was a little-known writer of literary fiction until Oprah Winfrey selected his then out-of-print novel Jewel for her TV book club, rocketing him into publishing's major leagues. In this candid memoir and literary handbook, Lott looks back to the hard times before Oprah, when he was forced to juggle raising a young family with a demanding teaching job that left him little time for writing. Recently named editor of the Southern Review, Lott offers via his reminiscences plenty of practical advice on the craft of writing, which for him is intricately bound up with observation and soulfulness. His hero is Raymond Carver, and his literary values echo those of the master; he urges writers to attend to the weight of every word, to the material reality of characters' daily working lives and to the handling of time. Beginning writers will appreciate the heartfelt supportiveness of his counsel as he imparts encouragement and insight. Of wider cultural interest is Lott's critique of the irony hawked by such writers as David Foster Wallace and of the so-called postironic Dave Eggers. Lott advances a case for a new and radically more hopeful genre of fiction. He imparts his own brand of wisdom on writing and the world of publishing with resounding candor and sincerity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Outlaw Poets Open Mike Night at Kudu on Thursdays, 8 pm -10 pm at 4 Vanderhorst St. in downtown Charleston.

You can add new literary events by clicking on the "comments" link and leaving a post! Thanks for sharing information.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Memoir 2008 Formal Writing Assignments


In this memoir piece, you will write about someone in your life, someone who has had an impact on you. The focal point, then, is writing about people, character, and using characterization.

To prepare to write the piece:

• To prepare to write the piece:

• Prewrite
• Read the chapter on “Writing about People” in FACT AND ARTIFACT
• Draft out (750 words)
• For examples of what we are looking for, read from IN BRIEF:
o “A Missing Star,” “Good Workers,” “Twigs,” and/or “A Sense of Wonder.”
• Meet with your response group.
• Post to your blog for comments. Be ready to comment on others blogs and to receive comments on your own. Take those comments and use them to help you revise.
• Final draft due on Thursday, July 10th at the end of class.

Using Place to Make a Scene

For this memoir piece, you will create a story in which place (or setting) plays a major role. You can draw on the writing we did during the writing marathon to develop your ideas. To help you write this piece:

• Prewrite, then read the chapter in Fact and Artifact on “Writing about Place.”
• Read the following essays in the book In Brief as examples of stories that use place in significant ways: “Dream Houses,” “Sink or Swim,” “Low Tide at Four,” and/or “Infectious Reading.”
• Post a draft to your blog for comments.
• Comment on your classmates’ blogs. Use the blogs to help each other. Make substantial comments that will help others’ improve their writing. Commenting on others’ blogs is part of your participation grade.
• Bring 4-5 copies of your draft for your writing response group. Make sure you circle all use of the senses. There should be lots of circles! Put your readers there with you.
• Final draft of this assignment due Tuesday, July 15th at the end of class.

Focus on an object

To write this memoir piece:

 Go through your journal and freewrite for memories
 Do listing exercise again, if needed
 Pick a focal point for your memoir – an object from your past
 The book In Brief offers many examples of memoir using objects as different focal points or organizing principles. Here are some examples of how to use objects as focal points: “Come Eat”, “Swimming with Canoes”, “Bread,” and “Asparagus.”
 Pick one moment when that object was important, or one key moment and pick an object in the scene
 Stay in that moment. Short memoir shouldn’t cover more time than 5 minutes to one night, one afternoon, one small moment of time.
 Draft out (750 words)
 Share with writing group
 Conference with instructors
 Post to blog. Get comments. Give comments.
 Revise, revise, revise!
 Do final editing. Due on Friday, July 17th at the end of class.

Memoir 2008 Course Books

Course Texts


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal by Judith Kitchen & Mary P. Jones
Fact and Artifact: Writing Nonfiction by Lynn Bloom

Optional: Choose 1

The Color of Water by James McBride
Guarding the Moon: A Mother’s First Year by Francesca Lia Block
American Childhood by Annie Dillard
Teacher Man by Frank McCourt

Memoir 2008 Course Description

Eng. 551: Special Topics in Composition
Creative Nonfiction: Crafting Short Memoir

Summer LWP Open Institute
3 Graduate Credits
$300 Fee

Course Description

Memoir. Personal narrative. Narrative Nonfiction. Personal essay. Short memoir. We can call what we will be writing in this class by any of these names, but they all share one central element – a first person narrator who reflects on what Barrie Jean Borich calls “the actual” in his or her world. She writes:

“We begin a work of creative nonfiction not with the imaginary but with the actually, with what actually is or actually was, or what actually happened. From this point we might move in any direction, but the actual is our touchstone.”

Short memoir tries to tell what actually is or was; however, it is not journalism. Short memoir differs from journalism in that it uses elements of fiction and poetry – characterization, setting, symbolism, figurative language and more – to tell a story. We will help you improve your short memoir pieces and encourage you to find readers and identify markets for your work.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Comments on Amy's Presentation

Please leave a comment below!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

First Writing Prompt

Question: How do you feel about everyone in class reading your writing as it will be projected right here in a few minutes?

To leave your comment, click on the "comment" link below and then type into the editing window marked "leave your comment here."

Hit "Publish your comment," and you're done!

Summer Institute 2008 Student Blogs

Welcome to the Blog of the 2008 Summer Institute!

Here you will find the blog addresses of your fellow participants:

* Chris
* Cynthia
* Debbie
* Elizabeth
* Jenny
* Lauren
* Leslee
* Stephanie
* Tara
* Tom

and others to come......