Writers' Roundtable Discussion

  • Thursday, October 27, 2016
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Big room
  • 0

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Shaping a Memoir

The increasingly popular genre of memoir poses particular challenges to the writer. Join us for a discussion with panelists E.C. Murray, Florrie Munat, and Jennifer Hager. 


We’ll focus on the many questions raised by memoir:

  • How is memoir different from autobiography? From personal essay?
  • When sifting through life experience to identify memoir material, what criteria did you use?
  • How did you find a good “container” for the story?
  • How long did it take to write your book and what was your process?
  • In memoir, the author is also the main character. Any guidelines you can share that made this work for you?
  • You wrote in the first person. How did that limit you? How did that liberate you?
  • In your opinion, is there anything that does not belong in a memoir?
  • What were the biggest obstacles you faced while writing the story?
  • Any surprises in the revision process?
  • How have you benefited by writing a memoir?
  • What tips do you have for aspiring memoirists?

E.C. Murray is a freelance writer and author whose book, A Long Way from Paris, was named a KIRKUS BEST BOOK of 2014. She’s published in Hybrid Mom, Spokes and Strokes, ABILITY magazine, Seattle Child, and more. The founder and publisher or The Writers Connection, EC studied writing at the University of Washington and Stony Brook, Southampton, New York. Her short story, “The Urban Goatherd” received a Pushcart nomination. Her first book, Life Kind of Sucks, reflects her Masters in Social Work. EC Murray teaches writing and tutors at Tacoma Community College, Gig Harbor and lives on Fox Island with her family and frisky cat.  www.ecmurray.com

Florrie Munat has worked as an English teacher, a reference librarian, and a Young Adult book reviewer. Her nonfiction articles and stories for children have been published in magazines such as Cricket and Highlights for Children, as well as Microsoft’s My Personal Tutor software. Her memoir, Be Brave: A Wife’s Journey Through Caregiving, describes her experience of caring for her husband Chuck, who had Lewy body dementia. http://florriemunat.com

Jennifer Hager does developmental editing, partnering with authors on stories that capture something deeply true about human experience. In providing manuscript assessments on book-length projects, Jenn analyzes a work's internal structure, assesses its strengths and weaknesses, and brings insight for revision. Here are a few of the memoirs Jenn has worked on:

  • Those Who Remain: Reunion and Remembrance After War by Ruth C. Crocker - awarded 2015 Silver Medal in Autobiography category by the Independent Book Publishers Association
  • Not My Secret to Keep: A Memoir of Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse by Digene Farrar and Cynthia Hurn
  • The View from Casa Chepitos: Beyond the Border by Judith Gille – Grand Prize winner of Writer’s Digest’s “Best Self-Published E-Book of 2014” 
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