University of Iowa

Your Legacy as Memoir: The Essence of a Life

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019

Come write the stories of your legacy. Some call it the story of your soul. Like memoir writing, legacy writing chronicles your most profound, defining moments and milestones (some joyful, others painful), those that inform and perhaps inspire future generations. Unearth your personal stories. Your narratives. What do you value? What did your ancestors value? Figuratively speaking, what garden did you plant? What did you stand up for? Whom did you touch? Who most inspired you? What mark—or footprint—do you hope to leave?


U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas captured what it means to leave our mark when he said, “We are a continuum. Just as we reach back to our ancestors for our fundamental values, so we, as guardians of that legacy, must reach ahead to our children and their children. And we do so with a sense of sacredness in that reaching.”


While you might cherish your great-grandmother’s gold locket and walnut armoire, a written legacy might well be the crown jewel of all bequests.  This workshop is designed for writers of all levels who long to spend a week developing your most significant stories through focused, engaging work, including writing prompts, selected readings, and in-class discussion.


What could be worth more?


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts; provide feedback on writing you bring from home or produce in our week.