From Memories to the Page: The Gentle, Wild Art of Memoir Writing (via ZOOM)

The Gentle, Wild Art of Memoir Writing — We are hosting the memoir writing workshops on ZOOM video conferencing technology. It works very well, and has opened up our reach. We are based 8 miles from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, and are working with memoirists across the country now. THE JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2021 SESSION is…in session, and the FEBRUARY-MARCH SESSION IS FILLING NOW. Memoiristas in Philly, Chicago, NYC, Massachusetts, California, and Texas are knocking it out of the park again and again.

Let’s get your memories onto the page. If you have WIFI and can click the link I send you to ZOOM-in on, then please join us in getting your life stories onto the page. All adults and genders are welcome. No writing experience necessary. These classes serve beginners, as well as professionals.

Here is the schedule through June 2021. To enroll, Contact Barbara.

The 6-week sessions on WEDNESDAYS, 10-Noon Eastern Time, begin on FEB. 24, APRIL 7, and MAY 19, 2021

The 6-week sessions on THURSDAYS, 1-3PM Eastern Time, begin on FEB. 25 (FULL), APRIL 8, and MAY 20, 2021 

Contact Barbara with questions and to enroll.

Cost is $150. Reserve your place: 

Venmo: @MayfieldMediaLLC,

CashApp:  $bjm2233 or by Paypal invoice.

Looking forward to working with you.

“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


The Memoir Writing Course was first developed and taught for the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The Memoir Writing Course was first developed for the Free Library of Philadelphia.


The Gentle, Wild Art of Memoir Writing  

Write your stories, one by one.

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 stories. A few were professional writers, most were writing stories 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, 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.


Michelle's memoir essays, gathered together in a casual format.
One at a time, the stories add up.



Barbara Mayfield’s The Gentle, Wild Art of Memoir Writing Workshop presents:

Prompted to Write —a salon-style reading of memoir essays at the Trail’s End Cafe POSTPONED. When the coast is clear, we will reschedule. Looking forward to seeing you then.

Trail's End Cafe, Bala Cynwyd
Trail’s End Cafe, Bala Cynwyd

Sunday, April 5, 2020 1pm til about 2

Come out for a lovely Sunday afternoon to the cafe and hear stories and essays from 5 writers from the Workshop.

Stories about a grandmother’s crystal necklace, a 48-hour dog, coffee and wine, an auntie’s cape, Barbie’s Dreamhouse, a mother-in-law named Faye, expensive shoes, hair-do’s, a Confirmation name, Julia and Margaret from Ireland, and a bout of scarlet fever.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Beverages, food and snacks are available for purchase at the cafe.   (484) 429-9514 In the Cynwyd Station, 375 Conshohocken State Rd, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Contact Barbara at 505-231-4774 (mobile/text)



One student’s hand-bound collection of her growing-up stories.