Laura Oliver M.F.A
Image of The Story Gets Out - Micro-Memoir Workshop

The Story Gets Out - Micro-Memoir Workshop


February 5-March 5, 7:00-9:00 pm
Monday evenings for five weeks
Location: InnerSource, 980 Awald Rd, Annapolis, MD 21403
(10 minutes from downtown Annapolis.)
Cost: $195

The counterpart to flash fiction, these are very brief true pieces of roughly 350 words. (You can write a whole memoir this way.) The writing itself is powerfully transformative. Discover thoughts and feelings you didn’t even know you had! In addition, the pieces are often deeply moving, fun to share and publishable in literary reviews and magazines. We capture moments of conflict, change, or memories that have stayed with you, whether or not you know why, and polish them to their essence for maximum emotional impact. We will study the craft in inspiring examples, use a variety of creative prompts, write in class and share work.

Example Micro-Memoir:

One of my older sisters and I look a great deal alike. When we were little our mother sometimes dressed
us in identical outfits, as if we’d be more appealing as twins. The similarities are, however, superficial.
My sister is a perfectionist and flawlessly organized, whereas my philosophy is “close enough,” “good
enough,” and… “who will know?”

I was visiting this sister recently, opened a storage closet and discovered the entire set of plastic horses
she got for Christmas when we were 4 and 8. The shiny black stallion reared on his molded back legs, his
little chain reins still attached. In the depths of the cardboard box, the creamy palomino still wore his
tiny saddle, perfectly intact from decades ago. And I thought, Wow!

That’s just wrong. So wrong.

I always return from these visits equally inspired to organize my closets and demoralized because I just
don’t care enough to keep them that way past Wednesday. And my childhood toys—Scottie Dog, Big
Red and my Ginny doll -- disappeared years ago. I had a bride doll for a long, long time, but then I found
a box turtle and put him in the bride doll’s case for safe keeping. I fed the turtle some lettuce and not
long after, he ruined that real estate. Permanently. He and the bride doll have been gone a long time.

But this got me to thinking about someone’s need to keep things in perfect condition, in perfect repair.
And when asked, my sister said, “I think I’m afraid that what we have today is all we’ll ever have—that
we have to make what we have last forever. And for the first time I felt slightly better about my lack of
attachment to stuff, my non-obsessive, non-possessive affection for things. Somehow, against the odds,
and even in spite of evidence to the contrary, I think I was born believing there is enough, what’s lost
will be replaced. Maybe it’s just a choice I’m making—to believe that in ways we cannot quite fathom,
we are safe. You can loosen your grip and let go. –Laura Oliver

Example Writing Prompts
What brings you to your knees? Write a story titled, “I Never Told You This.” Write about waiting
for something. Write about being late, the one that got away, the first time you told a lie, knew a
secret, woke up laughing. Sisters, Swimming. Dating. Winning. A miracle, a miracle. See

Note: This is a workshop - no shipping required
Registration fees are non-refundable after February 1st 2018

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