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The Funny Thing About Memory: 6-Week Nonfiction Zoom Class, Starts Sunday, July 7th, 2024
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The Funny Thing About Memory: 6-Week Nonfiction Zoom Class, Starts Sunday, July 7th, 2024

Unit price per

Begins Sunday, July 7th, 2024

Now Enrolling!

The class will meet weekly via Zoom on Sundays from 2:00PM - 4:00PM EST 

Open to All writers!

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Led by Kalamazoo, Michigan native Shonda Buchanan, an award-winning author and educator, a twice Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, an Oxfam Ambassador and a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow. A professor at Loyola Marymount University and Alma College's MFA Program in Creative Writing, Shonda is a Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Master Artist and a California Arts Council Fellow, Board President for Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center and founding Literary Editor of Harriet Tubman Press. Shonda is the author of several books including the award-winning memoir, Black Indian, chosen by PBS NewsHour as a “Top 20 books to read to learn about institutional racism.” Published in The Mississippi Review, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, Indian Country Today, Venice Magazine, Red Ink Journal, Capital & Main, LA Progressive, Westways Magazine, Sisters of AARP, Los Angeles Magazine and the Los Angeles Review of Books, Shonda lives and writes bi-coastally on Chumash, Tongva, Ottawa and Pottawatomie lands in Los Angeles and Michigan.

What happens when you want to write a memoir but you don't know how to use or choose the right memory? Or you don't know how to incorporate someone else's memory or are unsure how to use memory as plot? Memory is tricky, but crafting memory can be learned.

"That's not the way I remember it.” How many times have writers described an incident in their lives only to have that memory be challenged by friends and family members? That's the nature of the memoir beast, and this class will help you deal with temporal transitions, accessing and recovering memory, how to use memory to propel your narratives forward, and how to craft your story in a way that leaves no doubt that it’s your story.

Reading narrative nonfiction, literary and mainstream essays, and memoir excerpts, we will analyze the work of authors who have successfully used memory as a tool in various ways to craft your own memoir, using memory as a tool of empowerment, plot, and craft.

In this six-week course, we will explore the genre in its multifaceted forms while discerning cultural perspectives such as gender, identity, and ethnicity. I will teach you to find and hone in on your story, motif, and plot points and develop several chapters by the time the class ends. Feel free to munch, drink wine or sparkling water, and have a gourmet snack while we talk, craft, draft, workshop, and polish our work. 

Shonda will provide excerpts of The Art of Memoir and The Liar's Club by Mary Karr, Joy Harjo's Crazy Brave and Heavy by Kiese Laymon.


Week 1: Recovering Earliest Memories / Finding Your Story

Week 2: Writing Temporal Transitions and Shifts in Time/In the Telling    

Week 3: Falsehoods and Realities We Forget to Remember    

Week 4: Writing the Hard and Scary Memories    

Week 5: Writing the Mother/Father/Teacher or Society Wound    

Week 6: Student Reading and Last Questions Answered 


  • How to choose and use memory as plot points to propel the narrative forward.
  • How to craft the memory of others, even if you weren't born.
  • How to find and use your memories to tell your authentic story.

"Shonda's Master Memoir class helped me to think differently about the book I'm writing." -former student

"I learned more in a short session with her than I have over weeks or even months in other classes." -former student

"Shonda wasted no time zeroing in on key questions that editors and readers are going to ask. She also offered tips about how to structure ideas. This is incredibly valuable to me since I don't have professional training in this area (for example, a writing degree) and am a first time author." -former student

"I highly recommend her as a book guide, coach and story midwife." -Dena Crowder, TEDx speaker, High Performance Coach, and Spiritual Power Catalyst


For this class, we will have live weekly meetings via Zoom on Sundays from 2:00PM - 4:00PM EST.


You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.

  • Class starts Sunday, July 7th, 2024

  • Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Sundays from 2:00PM - 4:00PM EST

  • All classes will meet online via Zoom.

If you have questions, please us the Chat Button or contact us via email HERE.