Posted by: Shar & Mare | April 20, 2009

IWWG Conference AND Memoir Writing

Hi All,

Sharon and I attended the International Women’s Writing Guild’s Big Apple Writing Conference in New York City.

The main topic of the conference was Memoir writing. Lisa Dale Norton, a published memoirist spoke eloquently and passionately about writing a memoir. You can visit her site at

Ms. Norton also published a book about writing memoir, “Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir.” Definitely check it out!

The main theme of the day was to write memoir with Compassion, Forgiveness and Altruism. No reader wants to read or identify with a one dimensional character who only vents anger. If you write from this compassionate perspective, you will find kindess and understanding and resolution. You need to take your reader on a journey to bring closure using the structure of your story. It is important to see through the eyes of your characters.

Be specific and truthful and brave!

I really like her words, “True courage in memoir comes not from denying your fear of forgiving the villian and bogeymen of your memoirs, but rather from admitting your anger, shame and sadness and moving past these emotions into forgiveness. The voice of a narrator who can do this magnetizes readers and transports them to a larger way of being in the world.”

Lisa gave us some writing exercises you might want to try.
A. Write a story where you were the recipient of an act of kindness.
B. Write about an event that happened to you where you felt angered or slighted and write it from:
1. The third person from the eyes of the person who treated you poorly, and
2. The first person about your experience.

These were very powerful and should prove interesting.

The 2nd day of the conference had a panel of authors, agents and lawyer who spoke about the publishing industry, their requirements and the route they took to getting their story published.

Sheila Levine, a literary lawyer in NYC, was impressive with her talk about the importance of protecting your rights, especially as it comes to self publishing and electronic rights. She imparted VERY CRITICAL INFORMATION for writers. If you want her contact information for any contracts, negotations or legal advise, please contact us on the blog, or send an email to

This was a great weekend. It was fun, enjoyable I was awoken to the strength and voice of the many wonderful and strong female writers out there.

And, remember … WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!!




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