Writing Memoir

See what people are saying

  • “I liked how safe I felt to be able to discuss ‘taboo’ subjects. The highlight of the workshop: hearing all of the other participants pieces that were beautifully written. The instructor was a great facilitator and made everyone feel safe enough to share intimate moments and really dive into very personal experiences”

    KO, November 27, 2016

  • “I learned some ways of structuring stories and about different types of stories one could write. The highlight was learning about this structure as it’s a really practical way of helping me write stories.

    “I found the first day very beneficial and enjoyed everything about it. I enjoyed the checklist on the second day – it’s a useful way of thinking about what components to focus on when writing.”

    Kate, November 27, 2016

  • “I learned to write every day as well as how to start and finish a personal essay or part of a memoir. The highlight of the workshop was hearing fellow students’ beautiful stories! Compliments to the instructor for her serious preparation and good coaching.”


    Gilberte, November 7, 2016

  • “Before the workshop, I regularly confused memoir with autobiography, but now I understand the differences much better. Each time I take one of these workshops, it feels better. During the first workshops I attended, I was a bit nervous beforehand—and while my piece was read. This time, I was totally calm.”

    Vanessa, November 11, 2015

  • “This experience of the workshop is no longer new for me. I was amazed, once again, by the quality of most of the pieces read. It makes me feel so very humble. And it is always very good to have a deadline and to have to produce something for the next day. In times like these, when I am very busy and so intensely involved in life, it helps me to find time for writing.”

    Annie, October 11, 2015

  • “I’m one of those writers who’s addicted to structure, and I wanted to know more about how to structure a memoir—which I learned at this workshop.

    Sharing personal experiences with other people – all of whom you’ve just met for the first time – is a real ice-breaker of an approach. It allows you to get to know those people better—and learn from them, as well.”

    Paolo, January 18, 2015

  • “So much fun to hear all of the stories, as it always is with the Amsterdam Writing Workshops. Love the international perspectives.

    In terms of writing memoir, my goal is to align my story with the examples set by Mary Karr and Kay Gibbons: no self-pity, no melodrama, and, most importantly, writing a universal story despite its unfortunate uniqueness.”

    Susan, January 18, 2015

  • “Thank you for wonderful, inspiring and professional weekend. I learned more about form, and structure, what works and what doesn’t, and how to write for a reader’s experience. The method offered for getting from prompts to words on a page to a digitized first draft was also very valuable. It simplified what can feel like an overwhelming task into a step-by-step process, without becoming linear or prescriptive.

    It felt motivating, encouraging and meaningful to be with other memoirists. We co-created a powerful atmosphere of intimacy, anonymity and safety. (more…)

    Robbyn, January 18, 2015