How Memoirs Resonate
Transform a personal story into a universal story
Dinty W. Moore
Live on Jan. 28, 2022, or watch recording
Writers working on their first memoir
Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording
You have a memoir idea, maybe even a first draft, but still worry whether other people will want to read your story. You’ve poured your heart and soul into the project yet the insecure voice that asks “Who will even care?” refuses to quiet itself. When you read what you have on the page, the emotions swell up in your own heart, but you wonder if the words will come alive in the same way for a reader.
These are basic concerns facing all writers of memoir. Though our stories—the truth of our pain, our struggles, our progress, our redemption—reverberate on a personal level, we don’t write for ourselves, we write for others. So, how do our personal stories become universal, resonating with readers who don’t know us? How, as Jeannine Ouellette asks, can we write “the kind of truth that makes somebody else’s heart beast faster with recognition?”
Bridging the gap between the personal and the universal is crucial, whether you’re writing a five-page essay or a twenty-five-chapter book. In this 75-minute webinar on Jan. 28, 2022, taught by noted memoirist Dinty W. Moore, we’ll tackle the insecurity we share about our own stories and highlight specific structural, voice, and craft choices that help stories resound deeply with potential readers.
We will also explore:
- The difference between a personal story and a “public” story
- Basic mistakes and how to avoid them
- The conversation between writer and reader on the page
- How voice factors into making memoir resonant
- How “fake it until you make it” applies to writing
- The role of reflection and distance
- Making the connection between personal stories and larger social issues.
Who should take this class
- Writers working on memoirs, either essay-length or full book projects
- Writers who worry that “my story just isn’t interesting enough”
- Writers ready for substantial revision, but questioning what should stay and what should go
- Writers wondering when and how to insert their own reflection into their memoir
- Memoirists still struggling to find “the beating heart” of the story they want to tell
How do I know if this class is worth the cost?
This is an important question, and it’s a tough one to answer—especially since so much online education is available free of charge. Furthermore, every student is different, and a valuable webinar for one person can end up being a disappointment to another. For this reason, we offer full refunds if you register, attend or watch the class, and fail to get the information you were looking for.
Do I have to attend the live classes?
No. Everyone who registers will get access to the recording. However, if you’d like to attend live, keep reading.
How do I attend the live class?
This class uses Zoom webinar technology. You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.
- When: Friday, Jan. 28, 2022
- Time: 1–2:15 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
- Fee: $25
The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.
Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.
About the instructor
Dinty W. Moore is author of the memoirs Between Panic & Desire, and To Hell With It, the writing guides The Story Cure, Crafting the Personal Essay, and The Mindful Writer, among many other books. He has published essays and stories in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Moore is founding editor of Brevity, the journal of flash nonfiction and co-editor of The Best of Brevity: Twenty Years of Groundbreaking Flash Nonfiction. He teaches master classes and workshops across the United States as well as in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico.
Praise for Dinty’s previous classes
One of the best webinars I’ve ever participated in. Dinty Moore was delightful, but more to the point, he had a lot of wisdom and knowledge. He opened my mind to a whole different way of thinking.
Dinty is a quick-footed and excellent teacher. Excellent suggestions given with kindness, directness, and humor. He was the right and perfect teacher for me and where I am with my writing.
Dinty provides a wise, calm, and penetrative perspective on the writing craft. Don’t spend time ruminating over taking this course. Your only regret will be why you didn’t take it sooner.
All students receive the following
- Access to the live class. After roughly 60 minutes, Dinty will take questions during class using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 75 minutes.
- A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings.
- Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
- Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.
- Supplementary handouts. You’ll receive craft suggestions aimed at making your memoir resonate; and helpful writing prompts to identify, polish, and strengthen your reflective voice.
Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy
We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.
- That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
- That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.
System Requirements to Join the Webinar
We will be using Zoom webinar technology.
- An internet connection: broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
- Speakers: built-in, USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
- 600kbps (down) for high-quality video and 1.2 Mbps (down) for HD video
- If you connect through audio only: 60-80kbps (down)
Supported operating systems:
- Mac OS X with MacOS 10.9 or later
- Windows 10, Windows 8 or 8.1, Windows 7
- Linux 6.4 or higher
- For a full list of supported systems, click here
Supported tablet and mobile devices:
- Surface PRO 2 running Win 8.1
- iOS and Android devices
- Blackberry devices
- Windows: IE 11+, Edge 12+, Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+
- Mac: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+
- Linux: Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+