Skip to Main Content

MFA Course Descriptions

IMF 52307
Focused Nonfiction Workshop:
Memoir Chapter Workshop

Instructor: Kali VanBaale

Class Type: Workshop

Course Description: 

This online workshop will focus exclusively on the opening chapters--approximately 30 pages--of a memoir-in-progress. The first 20-30 pages of a book are critical: they entice the reader to keep reading, set up the story, and are typically the sample pages agents and editors read to determine if they want to see more.

Each student will submit 12-15 pages in two workshop sessions to receive rigorous feedback from peers and the instructor. Students will also read and respond to 3-4 peer submissions per week. We will discuss several craft elements specific to early memoir chapters, such as point of entry to the story, first lines, establishing focus and themes, early voice and setting development, and titles.

There will also be writing and reading assignments between workshop sessions, and recommended reading examples each week.

This workshop can be demanding, but the goal is for each student to finish the course with several polished opening chapters of a memoir-in-progress, and a strong plan for the overall memoir project.

No Textbook is required

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301