University of Iowa

Advancing Your Memoir: The Situation and the Story

Weeklong July 08 to July 13 2018

In this advanced workshop, we will look at our personal narratives in the context of two central elements delineated by writer Vivian Gornick in her classic 2001 text on the art of personal narrative. We will consider the Situation: “the context or circumstance, sometimes plot” and the Story: “the emotional experience that preoccupies the writer: the insight, the wisdom, the thing one has come to say.” In our week together, we will employ these ideas as we develop our own personal narratives. We will share and discuss sections of our work in progress in workshop, with the aim of helping each of us discover, communicate, and expand our essential story.