Wesleyan Institute of Lifelong Learning

Courses

Legacies in Words: An Introduction to Memoir Writing

The core of this workshop consists of writing and sharing by participants. Opening remarks for each session will focus on some of the challenges and varieties of memoir writing. We will discuss possible topics to explore--perhaps about grandparents or other ancestors, about childhood, adolescence, or about places in our past.  Brief writing exercises will provide practice in the use of imagination in memoir, providing context, dealing with gaps in memory, and possible audiences.  As time allows, writing exercises will experiment with techniques such as blending past and present time, deciding on structure, and the use of documents, photographs, and research.  Participants will share their partial vignettes, practice methods of supportive feedback, and discuss strategies for expanding and revising their drafts.  Beginning with the second session 2, participants will be invited to share revised drafts or new writing developed from previous sessions. Each session will close with suggestions for further writing and reading.

Sheila Murphy

Sheila Murphy
Five Wednesdays:  10:00-12:00noon, Butterfield Room
April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2

Please note:  This course will meet for two hours per session rather than the customary 90 minutes.  For this reason, the fee charge will be as if this were a six-session class—that is, $130.  But it will meet, in fact, for five two-hour sessions.

Course Instructor

Sheila A. Murphy received an A.B. from Albertus Magnus College, an M.A. from Boston College, and an M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan. She is a retired English teacher and a former Co-Director of the Connecticut Writing Project.  For six years she has conducted memoir writing and poetry workshops. Her poems have won awards and appear in many journals.