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ONLINE WORKSHOP — Building a House: Writing Memoir and Personal Essay


Have you thought about writing your memoir? Is there something bubbling inside of you that you really want to write about?

Learn to think about writing a personal essay or a book-length memoir like building a house, focusing on structure, situation, and story. Structure (the foundation and studs) - defines the beginning, middle, end, and the time-line; Situation (the walls of each room) - describes what happens, along with characteristics of people, place, and sensory details, to build a picture in the reader's mind and lift the words from the paper into another's experience; Story (the color scheme, furniture, and decorations) - presents the writer's experience and journey of self-discovery to create a reliable narrator for the reader. All of this comes together to bring the you alive so readers will live through you. Suitable for both experienced and emerging writers. Participants will complete a manuscript of about 1,500 words to use as a stand-alone piece or the start of a longer manuscript.

Instructor: Janet Sunderland website |contact
Four Weeks: June 5 to July 2, 2017; Monday evenings, 6:30 P.M. Central Time
Fee: $160

Enrollment Limit: 8

Janet Sunderland is a poet and memoirist. Her poetry collection, At the Boundary, was released by Finishing Line Press in May of 2013. Poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including Rockhurst Review, Lalitamba, Touch: A Journal of Healing, Kansas City Voices, and the recent anthologies, Love Over 60, Journey to Crone, and When Last on the Mountain. She serves as vice-president on the executive board of Whispering Press. She is a professional actor, a member of SAG-AFTRA, and an adjunct professor, teaching writing and public speaking.


Thank you for your interest in Building a House: Writing Memoir and Personal Essay.

  1. This is an online worshop. Communication and interaction with the instructor and other participants is done electronically.
  2. This workshop is limited to 8 participants.
  3. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
  4. Registrations will be accepted up to the first day of the workshop. Late registrations require the approval of the instructor and a $20 late fee.
  5. Payment is expected at the time of registration.
  6. If you register and later find that you are unable to participate, the fee is fully refundable up to 48 hours before the first day of the workshop. After that date, we provide a refund of 80% of the fee paid. After the first week, no refunds will be made.

Use the button below to pay your fee. You will receive a confirmation email and additional information from the instructor.

Use this button to register: Add to Cart


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