“This is what I have learned: that everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say.”—Brenda Ueland, If You Want To Write
“What I would give to have the stories from my great-grandmothers’ lives, in their own hand.”—Barbara Mayfield
ABOUT THE COURSE: The Gentle, Wild Art of Memoir Writing: This is a six-week curriculum which brings together grown-ups, ages 55 and up, who have lived to tell. We meet for two hours each week to study the craft of writing and to write, write, write life stories.
The process? Memories are jogged in unique and creative ways. Resistance and procrastination issues are addressed. Writing blocks are gently dissolved. Important aspects of the craft of writing are taught. Students learn how to give and receive positive feedback and encouragement, and to develop a personal writing practice that works. Methods of binding and presentation of the essays and short stories are addressed.
This memoir writing course was developed by Barbara Mayfield in 2014 and first offered at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch. Twenty men and women, ages 55 to 87, wrote, read, and polished their life stories. A few were professional writers, most were writing for the first time. Since then, sessions have been held at the Trails End Cafe, Main Line Art Center, the Narberth Bookshop, and at Barbara’s studio in Norristown. As of March 10th, 2020, we are meeting for class online using the ZOOM video conferencing program. It’s easy and it works. No matter where you live, these sessions are available to you now. Let’s get your memories onto the page.
“The range of voices in the class is amazing. The fact that everyone is writing so authentically is because of your safe container and gentle encouragement……you’ve got the special sauce!”—E.K. Villanova, PA
“The memoir course being given at the senior center (Free Library of Phila Senior Services) by Barbara Mayfield is the best program I have ever gone to at the library and I have gone to many wonderful ones at FLP since I was a small child. It is a miracle that for the first time, I am able to overcome writing blocks, to be able to both write and share aloud my writing.”—H.L., Philadelphia, PA
“I make my living as a storyteller, and I know my way around a narrative arc, character development, plot pacing, and creative blocks. But no artist every outgrows the need for structured learning situations and master teachers, like Barbara Mayfield…..Ms. Mayfield creates a safe structure where nothing is off limits, everybody is nudged toward the edge of their comfort zones, but nobody is pushed….”—Megan Hicks, Storyteller, Rose Valley, PA
Contact Barbara about enrolling in a course or to bring the course to your group via Zoom.