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Fiction Technique in Memoir 8-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
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Fiction Technique in Memoir 8-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

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Class Starts Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Thursdays, 3-5 PM PST / 6-8PM EST).

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

Led by Michelle Kicherer, who covers books and music for the San Francisco Chronicle and Willamette Week and is the host and producer of The Banana Pitch Variety Show, an online and in-person show and showcase of a diverse range of artists. With over ten years of teaching experience at the college level, Michelle’s work has appeared in literary magazines and newspapers across the United States and Canada. To keep it fresh, Michelle aims to have one weird new experience every day.

Get to know Michelle in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.

Memoir is a unique and exciting format in which the writer has the creative freedom to tell some portion of their life’s story in a captivating way. We don’t necessarily need to read your story from birth up to the present day but like any good novel, a good memoir should have a story arc, memorable characters and a narrator who changes in some way by the end of the story.

In this class, we will look at techniques for forming that story arc, for developing stronger characters and for writing scenes that will create an impact. We do this by applying some of the same storytelling and structural techniques that fiction writers use.

In this class, we will examine the work of writers whose memoirs or other nonfiction pieces have a strong storytelling component. Together, we will dissect storytelling components of their work and learn tangible tools that we can apply to our own memoirs. Each writer will have one opportunity to workshop an excerpt from their memoir, and multiple opportunities to “talk out” their work in class and gain insights from their instructor and peers.

Featuring appearances by some of our reading list writers! 

Reading List

  • Heavy, by Kiese Laymon    
  • Truth and Beauty, by Ann Patchett    
  • Lit, by Mary Karr    
  • Crying in H Mart, Michelle Zauner     
  • Burning the Days, James Salter    
  • The Red Zone, by Chloe Caldwell


  • Understand what a strong memoir structure looks like
  • Learn how to apply a novel-like story arc to your memoir
  • Learn how to pinpoint and expand upon moments of tension in your memoir in order to create the greatest impact, both on your narrator (you) and your reader
  • Understand how to insert humor and memorable scenes in your memoir

    By the end of the course you will have:

    • The tools you need to continue your writing practice
    • Completed drafts for further development, revision, and publication
    • The confidence that your story is meaningful for yourself and other readers


    "I gained confidence. I became aware of some of my strong points, the details of writing conversation, the scheme of plot and theme in developing a story, and the importance of considering less rather than more when editing one’s own work. These were all elements of writing that Michelle taught. I know my skill in writing has improved… I was amazed that so much could be covered in two hours of Zoom!” - Beverley C. Writing Student

    "Michelle's class on memoir writing exceeded my expectations. Michelle's feedback on my work is so valuable, as was the feedback I received from my peers." - Cindy J.

    "Michelle, thanks again and again. It’s delightful to work with you and receive helpful suggestions, skilled editing, and ongoing encouragement. You’ve fed my writing in more ways than you could ever know, or imagine.“ - Geri O. Writing Student

    "I loved this class. I found Michelle's lectures, reading lists, and comments on my work particularly valuable. Thank you, Michelle!" - Robert L.

    "Michelle was so easy to work with. She was able to provide new ideas, to focus my thinking, and to generate a structure and a way forward that I couldn’t see because I was too close to the material.” - Peter Novak


    This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!


    You can pay for the course in full or use Affirm, Shop Pay, or Lay-Buy to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. These options are available at checkout.
    • Instructor: Michelle Kicherer

    • Class Starts Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

    • The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Thursdays, 3-5 PM PST / 6-8PM EST)

    Instructor Michelle Kicherer is an arts journalist, writing coach and instructor specializing in fiction and memoir. Michelle regularly interviews some of the world’s favorite writers and her work has been published in outlets throughout the United States and Canada. Michelle believes that there are no dumb questions in the classroom, only pretentious teachers.Learn more about her here.