Instructor: Cynthia F Davidson
Maximum Enrollment: 10
Class Term: 03/15/2021 - 04/12/2021
SCN Member: $128.00
Class synopsisIn Two Parts, each part 4 weeks long. *This class helps participants decide whether or not to commit to writing and publishing a memoir. It guides them through an overview, of the entire process, from start to finish. Part 1 focuses on front end questions, about this genre in general, and their particular story. Part 2 (offered next term) covers what happens after the memoir is written. We will not do much writing but focus instead upon what participants need to know to make informed decisions about becoming memoirists. Focus is on self-publishing and can include the creation of eBook or POD.
This interactive class is designed to address concerns and answer participants' questions, in-depth. By sharing what I and others wish we'd known at the outset of our self-publishing adventures, participants will learn to consider all aspects of conceiving, writing, and publishing a memoir that will satisfy readers, and receive good reviews. This is not a writing class per se.
Part One classes: To understand the basics of the memoir genre, To consider options for organizing one's story, To choose a theme, write scenes, set goals, add insights, To do multiple drafts and have beta readers, To use social media and plan ahead for publicity.
Part Two classes: To learn about self-publishing basics, To evaluate which steps can be done alone and which may require professional assistance, To enjoy having your book published and continuing to market your writing.
Class communication methodThis class will be taught "live" on Zoom. Each session will begin with a content/lecture on the subject of the week. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers, examples, and suggestions. Participants will provide written answers and respond to weekly checklist items. These will be shared on the group page, to encourage each other, stimulate the overall process and learn from each other and the instructor.
Unit 1 Introductions of instructor and participants before we launch into the basics of memoir as a unique genre. We cover fiction versus non-fiction issues and choices. A short discussion of best-selling examples written by women, like The Liars Club, Wild, The Glass Castle and Eat, Pray, Love plus any favorites participants have. No one can write a good memoir without reading and studying several exemplars!
Unit 2 In this session we consider the many options one has for organizing one’s story. This lively overview is about what it takes to settle on the right subject matter and the overall process of planning to get a rough draft outline down on paper.
Unit 3 In this module we consider how to choose a theme, write a scene, the goal, and the story arc. We also look at the importance of adding insights and takeaways as rewards for our readers and how to maintain suspense like novelists do. Mechanics like word counts are covered along with readers’ expectations.
Unit 4 This session deals with the good, the bad, and the ugly, the hair pulling and teeth gnashing of multiple drafts. Why you need to think you are done (several times) but you will not be done. We also discuss the functions of beta readers and the importance of belonging to a writers group, even virtually. The benefits of keeping at it and learning to accept and offer constructive feedback.
PART TWO: (next term)
*This class is a continuation of the overview begun in Part One, but it covers primarily what happens after the memoir is written. We focus upon what participants need to know about publishing, marketing, and distribution aspects. Psychologically preparing to become a published author, with a public voice, dealing with social media, having readers, controversies and even fans are big, life-altering steps. The focus is on indie (self) publishing. And can include the creation of an eBook or POD.
Unit 5 This session demonstrates how crucial it is to use social media and plan ahead for publicity. These efforts need to be underway long before your manuscript is finished. Relating to varying audiences, and even having fans, can take some getting used to. The expectations of others can keep you on track as you develop your presence in the marketplace of stories and ideas.
Unit 6 In this session we discuss the basics of self-publishing and what makes it such a popular option. Participants learn about several options, especially KDP ‘Kindle Direct Publishing’. We review the buying habits of the public these days and how to meet their expectations with an ebook, print on demand, and even audio versions of your memoir.
Unit 7 In this module, we get real about self-evaluation and which steps we can accomplish on our own versus those parts of the overall process which may require professional assistance. The budgeting and costs of items like graphic designers fees for an eye-catching book cover, the work of content editors and line editors, and the need for pre-publication reviews.
Unit 8 – In our final session we practice looking forward to the day when your book published. Completing such a big project will change you, sometimes in unexpected ways. We will candidly discuss the benefits of having a therapist, if necessary, to help you cross the finish line. Celebrating this milestone is an important passage. The world needs more truthful narratives by women whose lived wisdom is needed by others. Lastly, we’ll envision your continuing writing and marketing goals.
Class time commitment2-3 hours per week includes the live teaching session
A born mystic, Cynthia was raised in Arabia. There she began taking divine dictation at age 10, penning her first poems.
Further expatriate decades led to more world travels and dual careers in journalism and global management development.
After studying the perennial teachings, she developed The Wisdom Wheel, and decided to leave corporate life. She relocated to Rhode Island to create a spiritual retreat center over 20 years ago. There she writes full time, teaches, and leads ceremonies with her British born husband.
The Importance of Paris, her first in planned series of memoirs, won an IPPY (Independent Publishers Award) in 2019. Available on Amazon in eBook, Print and Audio, it recounts her years living in more than one Paris.