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A university-quality opportunity in an inexpensive, convenient online program!

This Write Your First Memoir Draft FAQ offers you answers to many of your questions. If you still need more info, please contact us via the links at the bottom.

Q. What if I have already written some on my memoir? Is that still “starting?”

A. Whether you have written some of your memoir or none of it, you will benefit greatly from the Write Your First Memoir Draft Program. The program will give you an in-depth appreciation of writing in general and of memoir writing in particular. You will find yourself a more confident as well as more skilled writer for having mastered concepts.

You will learn the many basic elements for writing and structuring a memoir. Whether you have begun to write or not, it is likely that you are not in complete possession of many of the basic elements of writing. What the program does is give you a solid foundation in understanding what contributes to an interesting and meaningful story.

In learning to cook, for instance, it is always an effective practice, to learn something about the nature of various vegetables, meats, fruits, condiments, herbs, spices and so forth. Once you have an understanding of properties and possibilities of each of these, you’re in a great position to be more creative and effective as a cook.

The same is true with writing. The more you understand clearly what the properties and the possibilities of the “ingredients” of writing are—”ingredients” such as character, foreshadowing, action, story structure, pacing—the more expertly and enjoyably you will write.

Q. What if I haven’t selected a focus or a topic on my memoir yet?

A. No problem. The program will contain much material that will stimulate and direct you in your choice of a focus or topic. In fact, it is often in writing that a memoir subject is found. Over time, it comes to a writer and you know it is right.

Q. What if I suddenly I become too busy and can’t keep up with the biweekly modules.

A. The program is totally individualized. You can study the text modules and listen to the MP3s anytime you are ready. Nothing will go bad; everything will be waiting for you when you are ready to pick up the program again.

Q. Why did you choose the 2-week spacing for delivery of modules? Can I have them come more frequently?

A. When I was first conducting local memoir writing workshops—the well received Turning Memories Into Memoirs workshop, I would space workshops at both one-week and two-week intervals. It turned out most people preferred the two-week schedule.

The two-week spacing allowed people more time to write. Sometimes this led to quantity; other times, the two weeks were necessary when a person was dealing with the difficult material. Writing a memoir is, after all, a private and personal experience. When I delivered tele-classes, I also found the same two week interval to be maximal. Two weeks allows the student writer to “have a life.”

Q. What if I want to accelerate access to the course? What if I have a lot of time on my hands at some point and I’m ready to devote much more time to getting into all the modules as quickly as possible? Can I do that?

A. We appreciate that your timetable for learning and writing may vary. This is, after all, an individualized program. While we are offering the modules every other week as we feel these are probably the best intervals for maximum speed for most learners, if you are in a special position feel free to contact the office. We can release the entire program to you at one time. We do not do so, however, as a matter of rule because most writers need two weeks to accomplish all the readings and the assignments I give in each module. We do not want to overwhelm any writer.

Q. I understand that the program is delivered online. If I am not good with computers, will I be able to do this?

A. Well, the program will be distributed via the web but it is not really an online program. You will download both the print and the audio material and store it on your local computer or tablet. You can then choose to work with it in digital format or you can print it out. The audio portion can be listened to as you drive or sweep the floor or sit on your deck. It’s a wonderful way to learn and review.

Q. What if I need more than two weeks to complete a module? Can I space it out more?

A. Since the material you receive every two weeks are yours to keep, you can do the readings and the writing assignments according to your schedule. The two week schedule is our choice based on large numbers; your schedule can vary without any problem for the program. You just set the new module aside until you are ready.

Q. Will there be any one-on-one contact available with a coach?

A. The program is being offered at such a low price that the program per se does not offer coaching time. If you would like to meet privately with a writing coach, that can easily be arranged.

Q. Is there another learning program that follows on this one?

A. There is not. After completing the right your first memoir draft program, your next step would be to work with either a coach or an editor.

Q. What if I find this program not to be my “cup of tea?” Can I get a refund?

A. While we hope that you would realize this before you register for the program, we can certainly understand that it is possible to come to this realization after registration.

You will have a full refund if you withdraw before receiving the third module—no questions asked. You’ll have 21 days.

If you received the full program right away, we cannot offer a refund. We recommend, before you ask for the full program, that you wait until you have received the second module and are pleased with everything before asking for the full program.

Q. Do I have access to all material I’ve already received if I withdraw?

A. You have ownership of all the material of your current two-week period and to all material in prior periods, but you will no longer have access to the membership area. You should download all materials you have  had access to.

Q. So the materials mine to keep?

A. Yes, once you receive the third module, all the materials you will receive during the rest of your five-month mentoring are yours to download and keep. You continue to have access to the member’s area and can download any new material.

I was really “jazzed up” by the writing group. I don’t feel so alone with my “peculiar” ambition to write my parents’ lifestories. And the techniques I learned were total Draino on my writing blocks!”

—Polly Jackson

Registration is just $199.

I am ready to register!

Q. What if I can’t afford to pay the whole tuition in one payment? Do you have a payment plan?

A. Yes. We have a three-part payment plan. We ask that you pay $70 upon registration, $70 before receiving the first installment, and the final $70 before receiving the third installment. Call the office to register with partial payments.

Q. Do you offer discounts or scholarships to seniors?

A. Other than the discounts we offer during promotions, we do not offer any discounts or scholarships. The Write Your First Memoir Draft Program is presented at a very low cost, and we feel that it has a discount/scholarship built into its pricing.

Q. Some of this material can be found elsewhere on the web or even on your site. Can’t I piece it together?

A. Yes, it is true that some of the material can be found elsewhere on the web (some analogous material from other writers—not that we have plagiarized it!) and some of it is drawn from our website and from some of our current books.

The uniqueness of the program derives both from many original presentations of material and certainly from its original organization of both new and old material.

What we offer you is collated in a manner that we feel is maximally beneficial.

Q. Your list of what the program offers is extensive. Why didn’t you just created a program that contained less so that you could sell it for less?

A. We can understand the economics of your observation. We did consider making the program a smaller program that could be retailed at a lower price point.

This, however, recalled the results of the shorter workshops that Denis used to present. He found that people would leave the shorter workshops feeling that they had not really made a leap forward in both their ability to write a memoir and in the volume of their production.

In the end, the short workshop left us feeling that we were shortchanging our students. While we were able to offer a workshop at a reduced cost, the real price came at the cost of a much less satisfying experience for the student.

When we designed the Write Your First Memoir Draft Program, we designed it such that students would have time to finish the program with the first draft of their memoir finished or at least with a significant portion of that first draft written. The results? Satisfied students who are ready for the next stage of their writing project.

Q. Can a person really finish a first draft during this program?

A. Absolutely if you are talking about a short memoir—say 150 pages. Here in the office, we finished coaching a writer who produced a book of 430 pages. We don’t think it would be realistic for him to have expected to finish his first draft of 430 pages during the time allotted for this program. But, it would have been realistic to expect him to be able to have had a good start on his first draft and eventually to finish it with the materials provided in the program.

Great motivator! You took me much further than I would have gone if I had been on my own!”

—Kathy Lindquist

Q. Do writers in this program need to work with coaches or editors?

A. During the program there is no imperative to work with a coach or an editor—of course, a student writer can choose to do so, but one could finish the program without a coach or editor.

Of course, we feel it is to the benefit of every writer to work with a developmental editor who can help make the subsequent draft the best it can be.

Q. Can I share the material with my writing group and friends and family?

A. There are two parts to our answer to this question.

First of all, we would love to have you share the materials with a person who is helping you write your memoir. This need not be a co-writer but it can be a sister, a brother, a husband.

On the other hand, we hope you will not share the materials with members of a writing group or a writing class. Downloading being what it is, you have the ability to do so. However, our own ability to continue to provide you with quality material is compromised when someone uses our books and programs without buying them. Sharing without concurrent payments undermines our ability to make this membership be a win-win experience for both you and The Memoir Network. Our own salaries are derived from the sale of our work.

We encourage you to share the material from My Memoir Education, but we ask you to honor that the material in Write Your First Memoir Draft Program is available only on a fee basis. Encourage your writing buddies to sign up for a membership of their own. The tuition is modest.

We have sold you only the first (personal) rights to the material.  We have not sold you distribution rights. We leave you on your honor not to do so.

Q. Can a group buy a package at a price less than the total number of buyers x $199?

A. Yes, be in touch with us.

Q. What if writing my memoir is too hard for me and I need to work with a skilled person?

A. We don’t think the material of the program itself will be too hard for you. That said, you may want to the support of a coach to see you through some difficult emotional or technical material. Everyone can succeed with just the material itself; everyone can benefit also from working with a memoir coach — but it is not necessary.

Q. What if I can’t do it when I see a promotional discount? Can I get the promotional discount at another time?

A. Discounts are available only during promotional periods. If you want to avail yourself of a discount, simply buy the Write Your First Memoir Draft Program and use the materials as your schedule opens up. The materials are yours to keep and whether you study and implement them immediately or after a lapse of time, there is no difference in your access to the ownership of the material.

Q. Can I interrupt the program if something comes up and then pick it up again?

A. Again, the materials are yours to keep and whether you execute them immediately or have a lapse of time does not make a difference. Of course, you will want to review previous materials when you pick up the program again. We don’t believe that the lapse in itself will affect your ability to succeed at the program and write your first memoir draft.

“Just want you to know that whenever people say good things about my book, I send a little message of thanks to you in my heart. I never could have grown to be the writer I became without your help.”

—Sylvester Myers

Q. How does the Write Your First Memoir Draft Program compare to a low residency writing program at a college?

A. It is both similar and very different. If you are referring to an MFA program, obviously the Write Your First Memoir Draft Program is much less extensive. It is scheduled to be completed in five months whereas students will work in an MFA program anywhere from 18 to 24 months. No comparison.

If, on the other hand, you are referring to the quality of the instruction available to you through the Write Your First Memoir Draft Program, you will find that our quality measures up very well to any five-month portion of an MFA offering.

Q. Will The Memoir Network be offering any follow-up to the Write Your First Memoir Draft program?

A. Currently, we have no specific plans to follow up with another program. We do, of course, offer coaching and developmental editing which are fine follow-ups.

Q. Any possibility that The Memoir Network could offer a certification of completion for this program?

A. If you are doing an in-service or a re-credentialization program and would like to have us provide you with a certification of completion, please be in touch and we should be able to do something good for you.

We would need to see your school’s or your organization’s requirements before stating we could provide a reliable certificate for you. If you would like to have a certificate of completion to frame and hang on your office wall, we would love provide you with the one. Let us know.

Q. I want to teach memoir writing. Will this be a good practicum?

A. Absolutely. You will benefit in two ways:

  • You will produce a memoir to use as a credential with your prospective clients.
  • You will learn to critique your manuscript and understand that the support you need may just be what other writers need also. This is an essential feature of leading any workshop and of editing and coaching. Without the ability to critique effectively, you might as well “close shop.”
  • This writing program may fulfill the portion of the Memoir Professional certification having to do with memoir writing. Please inquire from the office.

I want to thank you for your guidance in putting my book together. I am pleased with the final product, and the family is also very happy with the memoir.

—Katheryn Ranta

Register Now

The Write Your First Memoir Draft Program is an individualized, self-paced, memoir-writing program consisting of an introduction and 10 modules that will help you get your memoir out into the world.

Registration is just $199.

I am ready to register!

Write Your First Memoir Draft Modules is available.

OUR FULL GUARANTEEsatisfaction guarantee

There is nothing to lose when you purchase the Write Your First Memoir Draft. If you feel you aren’t getting your money’s worth, let us know within 28 days of your purchase, and we will see to it that your money is refunded. No questions asked.

This is a risk free opportunity to begin writing your first memoir draft with the support and guidance you deserve.

We are confident you will find the materials extremely useful as you launch your memoir writing.

A gift for you...
...because you need to get your memoir written. This little book will focus you to complete your memoir.
  • Your memoir deserves to be written. We help people get their story down—right!
  • Writing a memoir or want to improve one you're working on? Download Memoir Writing 101: How to Craft a Compelling Memoir or Lifestory / 10 Steps and a Bonus.
  • Memoir Writing 101 comes with The Lifewriter's Guides, a biweekly "workshop in an email.".
  • If you are already a member of The Memoir Network, this e-book and others are available to you free in Member Resources.