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Writing Life: Exploring Memoir and Personal Essay 6-Week Generative Intensive (Zoom), Starts Thursday, August 29th, 2024
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Writing Life: Exploring Memoir and Personal Essay 6-Week Generative Intensive (Zoom), Starts Thursday, August 29th, 2024

Unit price per

Begins Thursday, August 29th, 2024

Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Thursdays, 5:30PM CST - 7:00PM CST.

Now Enrolling!

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

Instructor Lauren Brazeal Garza is the author of five books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction including her memoir-in-verse, Gutter (YesYes Books, 2018), which chronicles her homelessness as a teenager, and her literary horror novel, Texan Gothic (forthcoming), which was inspired by her experiences as a queer woman living in poverty after she aged out of the foster system. She earned her M.F.A in creative writing from Bennington College, and her Ph.D. in Literature from The University of Texas at Dallas with a specialty in testimonial literature and narratives from marginalized voices. A proud Texan for the past decade, she recently moved from Dallas to the isolated pine forests of far East Texas.

Now more than ever, memoir and personal essay allows us to speak of our own experiences on our terms. Unlike autobiography or biography, which are often preoccupied with the facts of an event, or when things take place on a timeline, memoir can instead focus on the feelings and senses of a memory’s architecture and the unique ways our memories connect to one another.

In this generative six-week workshop, we will study and discuss techniques used by a variety of memoirists and poets who have written their own stories and experiences in interesting ways. You will also draft one piece in a form of your choice (prose or poetry) each week that experiments with sharing a memory or experience and receive weekly feedback from me and your classmates.

At the close of the course, each student will have up to six new drafts that share or explore memory. Each student will be encouraged to choose one draft they are most proud of to share with the class during our final Zoom session as part of a celebratory reading.

All reading materials will be offered at no cost by the instructor.


Week 1: The Architecture of Memory

Week 2: Communicating our complicated relationships

Week 3: Simile and immersing the reader through association

Week 4: Advancing a story with dialogue

Week 5: Writing to heal

Week 6: Final Reading, Reflections, and Looking Towards the Future


  • We will study and learn a variety of techniques used by contemporary writers who work within their own memories and experiences.
  • We will explore and experiment with approaches to writing about our lives by creating one draft of a new piece in a form each student is drawn to (prose or poetry), begun during in-class writing sessions based on open-ended generative prompts.
  • We will provide and receive supportive, constructive feedback within the course’s writing community by workshopping one draft per week to the class.
  • We will also gain experience reading our finished work in front of a supportive audience of our peers at the end of the course.
  • We will leave the course with a better toolbox for writing memories based on our own experiences, and thinking about ways in which we might read and write memoir and personal essay.


I love love loved this course! It was super fun and I had a great time. I especially appreciated how much freedom we were given for the writing prompts, and the structure of the workshop and peer comments were so effective and helpful.” -David R.

This was one of the most charming and well-put-together courses I've had the pleasure of taking. Discussions were open and full of ideas, coupled with informative lectures. If you participated in class, the rewards were clear and obvious. Ms. Brazeal Garza was an excellent teacher for this subject and genuinely had me interested in new topics.” -Tiffany W.

"Lauren is phenomenal! She is extremely passionate, kind, and smart. She has the student's best interests at heart and makes great points on improving our writing. One of the best writing instructors I've had. I hope more writers take her classes in the future. She is also very organized and is a great overall teacher" -Megan K.

"This was most definitely one of my favorites from this year. The course was extremely flexible, and I found substantial value from the course material” -Mark L.

I enjoyed everything about this class! Lauren did a wonderful job engaging us and giving us the space to grow and improve as writers. I'll definitely take more courses from her in the future." -Troy N.

"Lauren gave me room to grow and showcase what I can achieve as both a creative writer and reader. I'm so grateful for her class and her insights, which have genuinely made me a better writer." -Alex S.


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!


Tuition is $395. 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.
  • Instructor: Lauren Brazeal Garza

  • Class Starts Thursday, August 29th, 2024

  • Course is fully ONLINE and will meet weekly via Zoom on Thursdays from 5:30PM CST - 7:00PM CST.

  • Tuition is $395.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.