Memoir Writing: Scene, Summary, and Musing

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Photo/KarenJordanWhat is a memoir? “I had to look up the definition of a memoir before I wrote my entry for this contest,” one writer confessed to me.

“Congratulations!” I responded, acknowledging her award.

This writer’s research paid off. Plus, she chose an inspiring, true story from her life, and she engaged her readers with a meaningful message using creative nonfiction techniques.

Being a judge of the contest entries, I also noticed that some of the other aspiring and experienced writers needed to do a little research before they wrote a memoir. So, I’m sharing here some of what I’ve learned as a memoirist.

My road to memoir writing started with enrolling in a class on writing for publication while in college. But I really didn’t hear the term “memoir” much until I took nonfiction writing classes a decade later.

One of my favorite professors at the University of Arkansas at…

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  1. So glad you found this blog post helpful! And great to find your blog. Karen

  2. Very helpful indeed! I had been going over my memoir trying to strengthen it wherever I could, but when I read about “musings” in your post–zooming in to add more meaning; the process became much more clearer. I love learning new techniques for writing memoir! Thank you so much for sharing.

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