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Writing for Your Life: One Story at a Time

The instructor—an award-winning author who offers decades of teaching, writing, editing, and publishing experience—will provide encouragement and guidance as you write your own story. Open your mind to new perspectives on writing memoirs.

Key Program Information
Next Session Oct. 14, 2024 – Nov. 18, 2024

This course will meet on Monday evenings, October 14th - November 18th, from 6:30 p.m. -8:00 p.m. online via Zoom.

Learn how to write a memoir.

Tell me about your first neighborhood.
Describe one treasured object you have that no one else does.
Tell me something you know by heart.

These are just a few of the prompts used in this beginning memoir writing class. We’ll engage in a variety of in-class exercises to help you rediscover life moments you want to capture. No formal writing experience is necessary, just a desire to explore your story and what compels you to tell it. Using key approaches to writing anything—Observation, Memory, Imagination, Research—participants will accomplish the following:

  • Identify memories you want to capture on the page.
  • Examine ways to tell stories.
  • Practice writing through guided assignments.
  • Produce a draft of your own memoir.

Participants will also read short examples of memoir and discuss them as a way to develop their own craft.

A hand holding a pen and writing on paper

Who should attend

Community adults, aspiring writers, family documenters or anyone wishing to to create a memoir. No formal writing experience is necessary, just a desire to write.


  • Patti See, Academic Skills Center

    Patti See’s collection of essays about life in the Chippewa Valley, Here on Lake Hallie: In Praise of Barflies, Fix-it-Guys, and Other Folks in Our Hometown, was published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in 2022. Her other work has appeared in Salon Magazine, Women’s Studies Quarterly, The Wisconsin Academy Review, The Southwest Review, HipMama, Inside HigherEd, as well as many other magazines and anthologies.  She is the co-editor  (with Bruce Taylor) of Higher Learning: Reading and Writing About College, 3rd edition, and a poetry collection, Love’s Bluff. Her award-winning blog “Our Long Goodbye:  One Family’s Experiences with Alzheimer’s” has been read in over 100 countries.  She writes a monthly column for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Sawdust Stories, for which she earned first place in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association's Annual Better Newspaper Contest. She is also a frequent contributor to Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Radio. She works as an academic advisor at UW-Eau Claire.
    This Chippewa Falls native lives in Lake Hallie with her husband, the writer Bruce Taylor.

CEU Information

Participants will earn 1.6 Continuing Education Units ( 16 Contact Hours) upon completion of this program.

Disability Accommodations

UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education encourages individuals with disabilities or other special needs to participate in our programs whenever possible. If you require a reasonable accommodation, please notify us at least two weeks in advance of the program so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Contact Continuing Education at 715-836-3636 / toll-free 866-893-2423, or use the Wisconsin Relay System (711). All requests are kept confidential.

An EEO/Affirmative Action employer, University of Wisconsin provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA requirements.

Cancellation Policy

We understand life happens. Should you need to cancel your registration, you may substitute someone to take your place, at any time, at no cost to you. If we cancel a program, we’ll give you your money back.

If your program is 14 or more days away:
You may transfer once to any currently available program – no charge!
If you have to cancel, you will receive a refund, minus a 20% administrative fee.

If your program is less than 14 days away:
You may transfer once to any currently available program, plus a 20% transfer fee.
If you cancel, you will not receive a refund.

If you are registered and do not attend the program, you are responsible for the full fee.

Substitution, refund or transfer requests must be submitted via email or phone call to UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education.

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Delivery format:

Early registration deadline:

Final registration deadline:

Additional Information

This course will be held online via Zoom every Monday evening from October 14th to November 18th, 2024, 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Early registration fee:

Standard fee:

Fee includes online instruction, digital course materials