Course Title: “Crafting Your Spiritual Memoir: Why and How to Tell Your Story”
Course Description: Many of us yearn to write a memoir—to record the most significant events and relationships that shaped us. And while the best memoirs make it seem easy, memoir is actually one of the most challenging genres to master because a writer is required to understand some elements of fiction (plot structure, character development, and dialogue) while also attending to inconvenient truths. In this session, we’ll explore the skills needed to write a memoir, whether it’s intended for publication or just for your family and friends, including how to identify your central conflict, address the most challenging events of your past, and cultivate a voice that readers will enjoy.
Since 2008, Jana Riess has been an editor in the publishing industry, primarily working in the areas of religion, history, popular culture, ethics, and biblical studies. From 1999 to 2008, she was the Religion Book Review Editor for Publishers Weekly, and continues to write freelance articles and reviews for PW as well as other publications. Jana also blogs for Religion News Service.
She is the author, co-author, or editor of many books, including Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor; What Would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as a Spiritual Guide; Mormonism for Dummies; and The Writer’s Market Guide to Getting Published. Her book The Twible: All the Chapters of the Bible in 140 Characters or Less . . . . Now with 68% More Humor! won first place in the non-fiction category in the Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards.
Jana has been interviewed by the Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, People, the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday, among other print publications, as well as “Voice of America,” the “Today” show, MSNBC, and NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Tell Me More,” and “Talk of the Nation.”