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Writing A Memoir — Letting our Senses Guide our Stories

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 memoir.

Key Program Information

This class meets Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

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.

Person sitting on the edge of a desk writing in a notebook

Who should attend

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 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 was awarded first place in the 2019 Wisconsin Newspaper Association's Annual Better Newspaper Contest, weekly division (for a piece on why she reveres her septic guy). She was a frequent contributor to Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Radio. Her essay collection, “Here on Lake Hallie: In Praise of Barflies, Fix-It Guys, and Other Folks from Our Hometown,” is forthcoming from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in spring of 2022.

    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 children and adults 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.

There are currently no upcoming dates for this program. To make sure you are notified when dates are scheduled, please join our mailing list.

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