Hope Edelman


Memoir: “Transforming Real-Life Events into Story”

Everyone who’s lived a life has multiple stories to tell, but fashioning those stories into memoir involves much more than a recitation of events. So how do you get from a good dinner-party story to an actual, publishable product?

Come gather information about four basic elements of successful memoirs, including structure, detail and description, characterization, and scene versus summary. Short writing exercises will be incorporated into the day to help you flex your memoir muscles, and brief excerpts of published works will be handed out as examples.

By the end of this workshop you’ll have tools to start a 750- to 1500-word short memoir, and maybe even a few first-draft pages. Writers of all levels of experience are welcome, including beginners.

WHEN: Saturday, June 2, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

COST: $199


PARIS, FRANCE – October 1-7, 2012

Global Writing Adventures – Paris Writers Retreat

Hemingway may have said it best: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris … then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast.” Find your way to the City of Lights next fall with fellow writers – and explore one of the most exciting cities on the planet! There’s a reason that France lays claim as the most visited country in the world. Ooh la la! This week enjoy 20+ hours of writing instruction and feedback with Memoir expert Hope Edelman.  {More details here}

WHEN: October 1-7, 2012

COST: $999


BIO: Hope Edelman holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in writing from the University of Iowa. She is the author of five nonfiction books: the international bestseller Motherless Daughters (1994), which was published in sixteen countries and translated into eleven languages; Letters from Motherless Daughters (1995), an edited collection of letters from readers; Mother of My Mother (1999), which looks at the depth and influence of the grandmother-granddaughter relationship; Motherless Mothers (2006), about the experience of being a mother when you don’t have one; and The Possibility of Everything (2009), her first book-length memoir, set in Topanga Canyon, California, and Belize.

She began her journalism career with a part-time job at Outside magazine, and soon after interned for three months at the Salem Statesman-Journal in Salem, Oregon. Her first full-time editorial job was at Whittle Communications in Knoxville, Tennessee. From there, she went on to the University of Iowa, earning a master’s degree in creative nonfiction, one of the first of its kind.

Since then, her articles and essays have appeared in numerous publications, such as the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, theWashington Post, the Dallas Morning NewsGlamourChildParentingSeventeen,Real SimpleSelfParade, Writer’s Digest, huffingtonpost.com, The Iowa Review, andThe Crab Orchard Review, and many anthologies, including The Bitch in the House,ToddlerBlindsided By a Diaper, and Behind the Bedroom Door.

She is the recipient of a New York Times Notable Book of the Year designation and a Pushcart Prize for creative nonfiction. Nearly every July you can find her at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in Iowa City, and periodically at other conferences and festivals throughout the U.S. She teaches regularly in the MFA program at Antioch University-Los Angeles.

Hope is an avid skier; cooks a mean French Toast; and has discovered an unexpected aptitude for eighth-grade math. She lives in Topanga Canyon, California, with her husband, their two daughters, a fat cat named Timmy (“No, Mom, tell them he’s buff!”) and a shy orange one named Sherman.