Resources for Writing Memoir
Recently I tweeted this advice on writing memoir: “Please don’t submit your memoir until you’ve read 20 good memoirs and 5 books on writing memoir—and learned from them.” I didn’t mean you shouldn’t write your memoir until you’ve done all that. But while you’re writing, I hope you’re taking the craft seriously, and learning about…Read More →
Agents, Publishing, Writing|
Telling Your Personal Story
Dear Rachelle, People are always telling me, “You should write a book!” For years I have been ignoring them, but more and more people are telling me that I shouldn’t let my experiences be wasted, that I need to share them because they are not only inspirational, they will make people laugh, make them cry, and…Read More →
When Should You Write Your Memoir?
I just finished reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed. This is an incredible book, a bestseller since its release in March, about the author’s 1,100 (that’s eleven hundred) mile solo hike through California and Oregon. She undertook the hike as a way of coping with devastating…Read More →
Should You Write the Whole Book?
Classic wisdom for unpublished authors seeking traditional publication has been this: If you’re writing a novel (fiction), you need a complete manuscript. If you’re writing non-fiction, you need a book proposal plus two or three sample chapters. If you’re writing a memoir, who knows — everybody has a different opinion. Here’s what is true and…Read More →
Memoirs of Overcoming Adversity
Dear Rachelle, I’ve heard you talk about how difficult it is to sell a “personal story of overcoming adversity.” You’ve mentioned you won’t consider this kind of memoir unless the author has a significant platform and the story has built-in marketing potential and an obvious media hook. Would this include being a cancer survivor (two completely separate cancers) at…Read More →
Alexis Grant asked: Would you consider a post on memoir guidelines, since memoir falls somewhere between fiction and nonfiction in many ways? For my travel memoir, should I query when I have a proposal and several sample chapters, like nonfiction, or wait until the manuscript is complete, like fiction? What’s the usual word-count window for…Read More →