Memoir Writing: Turning Your Personal Story Into a Story for Everyone with Christopher Kloeble
November 26, 2022
Everyone has a story to tell. But how do you tell a story that everyone can connect with?
Memoir writing may be about a personal reality, but it is just as much about good storytelling as any other genre. Whether or not a memoir succeeds in connecting with its readers depends on how carefully the writer chooses what to tell, how to tell it, and what to leave out.
In this workshop we will explore what is unique about your individual life experience and how to transfer that onto the page.
This workshop will be divided into two segments:
On Saturday, Christopher will meet each participant separately for 30-minute one-on-one sessions to take a closer look at individual projects. The focus here will lie on your story, exploring what is unique about your life experience and talking about developing new ideas that you can continue working on after the course.
Through a series of discussions, readings, and exercises, the second session (Sunday) will be in a group setting and will cover perspective, voice, angle, conflict, inner transformation, choosing your material, and, most importantly, finding a beginning and an end for your story. We will also discuss the basic premise of each project and/or the beginning, so participants can get a sense of the range and scope of each project.
Ahead of the first session, Christopher will supply a reading list so we can discuss different approaches to memoir writing in class.
Participants will be expected to submit an excerpt of about 3-5 pages from a project they would like to turn into a book. This workshop is open to writers of all levels with a memoir project in progress or just in mind.
You will leave the workshop with an understanding of what to focus on, how to solve your individual project problems and what makes your piece special and relevant. You will return to your desk feeling confident about how to approach writing your personal story.
There will be a 30-minute lunch break on both days.
Christopher Kloeble is a novelist and scriptwriter. His first novel, Amongst Loners, was the winner of the Jürgen Ponto-Stiftung prize for best debut. His third book, ‘Almost Everything Very Fast,’ which he is currently adapting as a feature film, was published in English with Graywolf Press (USA) and was nominated for the Dublin Literary Award and the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis. He is also the author of ‘The Immortal Salz Family’ and the memoir, ‘Home Made in India.’ The English translation of his latest novel, ‘The Museum of the World,’ is forthcoming with HarperCollins India in 2022. In addition, his first film script, ‘Inclusion,’ was nominated for the Prix Europa for Best Movie Script. Christopher has taught at Dartmouth College, University of Georgia, University of Arizona, Grinnell College, Georgetown University, Cambridge University, the University of Nairobi and Hongkong University. His books have been translated into nine languages. He lives in Berlin and Delhi.