Laura Oliver M.F.A
Image of Into the Fire - Micro-Memoir Workshop

Into the Fire - Micro-Memoir Workshop


Monday evenings, Five weeks, Oct. 2nd- Oct. 30th 7-9 p.m.
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 500 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: from The Story Within by Laura Oliver

I started making jam because my friend Carol came over one day with some chutney she had made. It was incandescent chutney, and in fact, had already won first prize at that year’s county fair, but what really bowled me over was the fact that it came in little jars, and Carol had put it there.
When the sun hit the kitchen a kind of rich rose light filled the jars and you could see the curve of things inside, small pepper strips and chunks of peach. I began to covet these jars…I wanted to see entire shelves filled end to end with fruit the color of stained glass, and I wanted also to know I had put it there. (One hundred pounds of apricots later,) I am insufferable with delight.
I’d made so much jam that the shelf could hardly hold it all. I made a double row and stacked the jars, one on top of the other. Then I stood back and looked at the top shelf and did a little dance. Then I turned my back. And the shelves fell. All of them.
It was an amazing noise. It went on for a very long time.
My husband, who had covered the entire distance from the living room sofa to the kitchen, in one leap, looked at the kitchen floor and then looked at me. My five-year-old son was looking at me too, since he had never before seen a grownup crying and kicking the walls and my husband instantly steered both of us into the dining room. “I’ll take care of it,”’ he said.
After a time, I came back in to help, but…I started to cry again. My husband had assumed the manner of a paramedic and suggested politely I go somewhere else; late that night, after he had carted out the shards and mopped the floor with lemon-scented ammonia, he told me some of the jars were still intact.
“If you hadn’t been here,” I said, “I would have taken the children and checked into a hotel.”
“I know,” he said.
I looked out the window for a while, thinking about the fragility of some arrangements and the ferocious strength of others, and we slept. – Cynthia Gorney from The Story Within

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 September 26th 2017

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