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Memoir Writing: Structuring Your Story


Course Details

  • Location: UW Seattle
  • Duration: 9 weeks
  • Times: Evenings

Next Start Date:

January 6, 2021

This course is part of a certificate program. You can also take it without enrolling in the program.

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About this Course

How do writers of memoir organize their material to create unified and compelling narratives? This is the key question that will guide us throughout this course in structuring your memoir.

We’ll read critically acclaimed memoirs together and analyze the functions of dramatic arc, chapter development and unifying threads. We’ll then dive into how experienced authors of memoir employ sections, transitions, prologues, epilogues and framing devices in structuring their material. You’ll be given multiple opportunities to generate new writing and receive insightful feedback.

Designed For

Those who want to organize their memoir material and begin the writing process.

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What You’ll LeArn

  • How to define your writing project goals in terms of overall organization and narrative arc
  • Ways to utilize narrative modes in memoir writing: scene, summary and musing
  • How to analyze your own writing and the work of others in relation to narrative modes, story structure, theme and use of time
  • Techniques for identifying the anatomy of a scene and creating a fully realized scene
  • Methods for applying the concepts you’ve learned to future writing projects

Program Overview

To earn the Certificate in Writing, you need to complete three courses in two years or less.


You should register for all courses individually; there is no application process for the certificate program.

Learning Format


Attend classes part time at one of our convenient locations in the Puget Sound region. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. Learn More »

Course Sessions


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