Do I Need Experience to be a Memoir Writing Workshop Instructor?

We’ve been having a discussion in my writer’s groups over at Linked In about whether or not you need experience to teach these workshops. Also, do you have to have actually written your own memoir to teach these workshops.

My answer to both questions is NO! I’ve been reading some wonderful posts from people who are teaching these classes. Some have written their memoirs; some have not. The general consensus on the boards seems to be that what you need to teach memoir writing workshops is a passion for memoir writing.

There are many programs out there that you can use (including mine) to teach memoir writing workshops. In my next post, I’ll list some places where you can find more information on teaching workshops and memoir writing.

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.

If you follow my workshop outline (or one like it) and use the Lifetales workbook (or one like it), there is very little you actually have to do other than that!


Writing Your Memoirs Workshop: A Manual for Instructors Print version $18.95

Writing Your Memoirs Workshop: A Manual for Instructors Download (PC/iPad/Nook) version $5.99

Writing Your Memoirs Workshop: A Manual for Instructors Kindle Edition, Order at Amazon.com $5.99

Lifetales: A Workbook for Writing Your Lifestories – Paperback $17.99 $16.19

Lifetales: A Workbook for Writing Your Lifestories – Ebook (pdf) $8.99 $7.99

UPDATED Lifetales: A Workbook for Writing Your Lifestories – Amazon Kindle edition$4.95

About Karen Y. Hamilton

Walt Whitman says about his autobiography, Specimen Days “…At any rate I obey my happy hour’s command, which seems curiously imperative. May-be, if don’t do anything else, I shall send out the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed.” This is what I feel at this juncture of my life, the need to gather together memories of my ancestors as well as my own memories into some semblance of order. Because all of those fragments, all of the fragments that make up any life, become stories. I am the mother of three sons, who affectionately (I hope!) call me 'gypsy mom' because I tend to wander around a bit soaking in the universe's wonders. I am currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. I have published essays with Heritage Press, Florida Living, and the St. Pauls Review. I am currently working on a book of poems about the Florida Everglades pioneers and a memoir about grief and the bonds of friendship. I live in my hometown, Jupiter, Florida and work as a freelance writer and curriculum specialist.
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