Online Memoir Writing Course

12-week Online Memoir Writing Course – with Irene GrahamHorse Copyright©Irene Graham 2013 office@thecreativewritersworkshop

  • LIVE Writing Discussions
  • Free Copy – The Memoir Writing Workbook
  • Online Course – 12 Lessons with Audios, fully interactive with The Memoir Writing Workbook
  • Writing submissions for personal critique
  • Private Feedback from Irene G.
  • Memoir Writing Rooms to ask questions 24/7 as you develop your life experiences and write your book

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Memoir Writing Course Online

Courses for US/Europe/Canadian Participants

Courses for Australia/NZ Participants

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Private Writing Classes

Fiction & Memoir Private Writing Classes

with Book Writing Coach Irene Graham Irene Graham Creative Writing Teacher 630x260 irenegraham@thecreativewritersworkshop.com

In-Person | Online

Personal Courses structured to suit your lifestye.

Get in touch with Irene today.

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Fiction
Memoir

Irene Graham is Founder of The Creative Writer’s Workshop (1991) and The Memoir Writing Club. She is also Author of The Memoir Writing Workbook.  Her workshops are accredited by George Mason University, Virginia, USA, as part of their undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

 

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Writing Retreats in Ireland 2016 | The Creative Writer’s Workshop

Fiction & Memoir Writing Retreats in the West of IrelandBrollyY Copyright©IreneGraham2015 office@Qthecreativewritersworkshop

Remember your 2016 vacation 

Write Your Story with Book Writing Coach Irene Graham

  • explore Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
  • invigorate your senses on Inis Mor Island
  • walk the famour Cliffs of Moher in Doolin
  • enjoy first class Irish Musicians
  • eat Gourmet food
  • sleep in luxurious accommodation
  • and most of all – develop, create and write your story with personal coaching from Irene G.

Explore the best vacation ever!   Writing Retreats Workshops

Logo The Creative Writer's Workshop - Irene Graham email creativewriting@ireland.com

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Celtic Myths | The Story of Aonghus Óg…and Love

Aonghus, the Celtic god of love, is eternally youthful. His true name is Aonghus Óg, which means young Aonghus. Dun Aonghus, the sacred site on Inis Mór Island, the larger of the Aran Islands, is his summer residence. From this fort Aonghus Óg can reach the land of eternal youth, Tir na Óg.Myth4 Copyright©IreneGraham 2015 office@thecreativewritersworkshop

One night Aonghus fell in love, in a dream – when he saw Caer. He searched for her for years and years. Each year she changed shape. A shape shifter – from swan to beautiful woman, to swan, to beautiful woman. Aonghus’s searches lead him to find her among one hundred and fifty swans. His love was so deep he turned into a swan himself so he could be with her. Together they became the protectors of loving couples.

Aonghus Óg has four bright birds representing his four kisses, so if four birds encircle your head and sing when you are walking the winding hill to this ancient site, it could just mean you are charmed and that love springs into your heart.

Walking the ancient sites of Inis Mór learning myths and legends is part of The Creative Writer’s Workshop Novel and Memoir Writing Retreats on this mythical island.

Writing Retreats Workshops
with Irene Graham in the West of Ireland

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Creative Writing | Finding Your Writing Voice

Finding one’s Writing Voice is, I feel, a key element in writing.

Previous writing influences often inhibit the creative voice. It is as if the brain becomes familiar with one mode of thought and the writer often finds the leap into the realm of creative language difficult.  Dawn Copyright©IreneGraham 2014 office@thecreativewritersworkshop

Influences such as Journal Writing, Applied Writing and Corporate Writing demand a different set of rules and thought patterns. The creative writer needs to break free of those restraints to write creatively.

Like all art forms, practice definately helps. Being aware of creative language, what it is and how it can be used in story is the foundation to writing creatively,  but in my workshop experiences, it is when a writer finds what they want to write about – when they engage with their story – that is when they connect to their writing voice on a deep level.

If this is the case, then it is important to not only understand the language within creative writing, but to focus and develop the story you want to write. This will help enhance your unique expression, your choice of words and will set the stage for the nuances of the world you are writing about.

Through engaging with the creative writing process and understanding the fundamentals of creating story, other writing influences will find their place, allowing your unique writing voice to emerge – for your story.

Creative Writing Workshops
with Irene Graham in the West of Ireland

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Creative Writing | 5 Writing Tips from Irene Graham

1. Think about your writing journey, plan it, plan where you want your writing to take you in easy steps – 3 months from now, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years.  Approach your writing journey just like you would if you were taking an actual journey by plane, coach or whatever. Quote Give it a Try

2. Writing is about understanding story and how to create it. Do you know how to create a story?  If you don’t, you are not ready to write your book.  You need to learn how to create story so that you can then develop your story…and write it creatively.

3. Are you yearning to write – but don’t know what to write about? This is common. Start with writing exercises to help trigger thoughts and memories. Remove your edit button and just start writing, see what happens. You don’t have to show your work to anyone, so just free flow and get into the mode of writing.

4. Have you written 10,000 words + and feel your story is going nowhere? If you feel there is something missing while you are furiously writing your book – there probably is.  Think about seeking advice on your story and your writing – don’t continue to write 80,000 + words that you are unsure about.  Think of all the precious time you are going to save by getting your story ‘right’ before you commit your story to the page.

5. Have you a story to tell but don’t know how to approach it or are afraid to tell it because it may upset x, y or z in your life?  There are many ways to approach getting your story onto the page, sometimes what you don’t say (in the way you leave it out) can say even more than what you write. It’s an art, it’s an art that is worth learning!

Writing Retreats Workshops – The Creative Writer’s Workshop

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Creativity | When is the Best Time to Write?

Clock Copyright©IreneGraham2015 office@thecreativewritersworkshopInvariably in my workshops participants ask me “When is the best time to write?” The answer is: What is the best time for YOU to write? 

Individuals vary so much, our lifestyles dictate our calender.  What works for one person will not work for the next. Think what works for you, and schedule when is the best time for YOU to write.

HINTS to help your writing flow:

  • Make a Writing Schedule to suit your lifestyle, make it realistic.
  • If after two weeks your Writing Schedule is not working – change it – it means it is the wrong plan and it is not suiting your lifestyle.
  • Try to write in two hour blocks. I find if you only write for one hour at a time  you are not giving yourself the opportunity to explore your creativity on a deep level. Commit to writing for two hours – which could be developing your story, doing writing exercises or writing your book – or all of the above. See if two hours makes a difference in reaching a deeper level of creativity. Be aware of the outcome and repeat the process that works best for you.
  • When you complete a writing session, immediately make a date with yourself and schedule the next writing session – a date and time that suits your current lifestyle. Stick to this date – but if you have to change it – revise your writing date and lock it in to your diary.

The Memoir Writing Club

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Writing Rejection | J K Rowling

J K Rowling, in an article in the Herald Scotland, reveals how Harry Potter and her Robert Galbraith crime novels were rejected by publishers.

Take heart dear writer….and keep sending out those query letters!

CLICK TO READ J K ROWLING ARTICLE

Creative Writing Retreats

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Creative Writing | Procrastination in Writing

DogDreams Copyright©Irene Graham 2013 office@thecreativewritersworkshopTry this creative writing tip and see does it work for you to help overcome procrastination in writing.

As you go about your daily life – focus in on one question about your current story. The question can be a simple one, or more complex, depending on where you are at in the development of your story, ie:

  • what does the main character look like?
  • what setting will work best to portray my story?
  • what is the background of your main character – where are they coming from?
  • what aspect of your main character’s background would reveal his personal fears?
  • what action should take place to bring about conflict between the two main characters?

Instead of ‘thinking’ why am I not writing?  What is holding me up from writing? Use your brain space to answer questions about your story!

Writing Retreats Workshops – The Creative Writer’s Workshop

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Memoir Writing | Memoir vs Autobiography

Man & Dog Copyright©IreneGraham 2012 office@thecreativewritersworkshopMemoir writing has in the recent past become a genre in its own right.  It is now considered creative non-fiction, and is a popular genre in bestseller lists. In contrast to autobiographical writing in years gone by, a writer does not need to be famous or well known to write a memoir.

Autobiographical Writing encompasses a whole life – a life story usually written chronologically from birth to a given point in time. Thus autobiographical writing includes perhaps hundreds of characters, places and events from the writer’s entire life.

Memoir Writing can also be written chronologically, but it can also be structured creatively, similar to novels. Memoir writing is about drawing upon life stories and memories and focusing them into a memoir – usually upon a particular subject and the impact it had on the writer’s life, eg:

  • a war veteran and how he or she survived during and after a war
  • growing up with hippy parents, living life on the road
  • living in a small community in a minority race and the effect this had on adult life
  • generations of a family living in one particular house and the transitions brought about over time
  • the impact of the death of a child on family life
  • the struggle through a particular illness and how it altered and changed a life
  • travels alone around the world, and how this shaped a life
  • growing up on a cotton farm in southern USA in the ’60’s

So in essence, the man on the street probably has one autobiography – the entire story of his/her life, in contrast to memoir, whereby we have many life stories to share, and therefore, many memoirs to write.

From my workshop experiences many writers start out by thinking their memoir will be focused on a person they really admired, the life of their grandmother or father for instance. What this person did, where they went and what they achieved.  It is important to note that while writing a story about your father and his life achievements is a worthy concept, this is not memoir writing – it is biographical writing. It is a life story about someone else – not you. 

On the other hand, if you want to write about the influence your father had on your life – from your perspective, and the impact he had on your life and the decisions you made or did not make because of him – than that is memoir writing.

Likewise, if any of your siblings wrote their memoir on the same subject matter – the influence your father had on their life – it would be a competely different story to yours, it would be about their life, and the influence your father had on it – from their perspective.

Memoir Writing Courses – The Memoir Writing Club

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