Memoir Workshops

Come write with me!


In my writing workshops, whether in-person or online, you get the benefit of my decades of teaching lively small-group, discussion-based college literature and writing classes.

My classes are interactive and thought-provoking, with lots of generative writing that will open inspiring new doors into your story and get your imagination into gear.

My writing workshop pedagogy features:

• Open-ended prompts and questions
• Lists as seedbeds for more fully developed scenes
• Focused freewriting, otherwise known as sketching in writing
• Frequent pauses for reflective writing on the creative process

In my writers’ circles, I create a warm, welcoming atmosphere and carefully structured opportunities for instructor and peer feedback that is non-evaluative but highly effective and productive. Sharing is encouraged but always optional, and confidentiality is a must.

I seek to cultivate writing that is intuitive, generative and organic—emerging from within rather than based on an artificial structure imposed from without. My students are often surprised at how much they are able to produce in my workshops, and how deeply they are able to tap their own inner reservoirs of stories, images and metaphors. Try it and see for yourself!

Purposeful Memoir Workshops


Specific memoir workshop series that I often offer, both in-person and online, include:

The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir, using the four elements as an organizing principle for delving more deeply into your life story.

The Alchemy of Purposeful Memoir, saluting the positive and transmuting the negative in your life story.

Aligning the Personal, Political and Planetary in Purposeful Memoir, locating your individual life story in the broader socio-historical landscape of your time and place.

Ancestral Archeology, exploring the legacies of your ancestors’ life stories on your own life; what do you want to continue to pass down into the future, and what is better left behind?

Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future, questing into our life stories in order to cultivate the positive qualities we need more of, and transmute life’s challenges into lessons that can help us co-create a better future for ourselves and our communities.

“Dear Jennifer, Thank you so much for a deeply inspirational memoir-writing workshop. It made all the difference! Being in this magical setting with like-minded women and your thoughtfully designed prompts was just what was needed!”

DM, 2017 

“Jennifer…a multitude of thanks to you for an extraordinary experience of self-reflection, self-acceptance, encouragement and your exemplary way of being…your beautiful expression in the world is much appreciated!”

RF, 2016

“I left the gathering feeling deeply moved by each of you, and us as a collective. Jennifer, you have created magic here. Nothing is more intimate than sharing the meaning of our lives. I feel a palpable and unexpected bond between us, which has warmed my heart all day! As I go off and do more writing, I will imagine that each of us are doing the same, writing with passion and sometimes fear, in our respective spaces. As separated as we may physically be, we are connected by the strong threads of our stories, and by you, Jennifer, who are holding the loom!”

— BN, 2016

“Jennifer, I respect and appreciate what you are doing very much, and the energy you bring to it. The elements you combine in your work are exactly those that interest me, and I’m sure many others as well. In the past I’ve felt like my spiritual practice, my interest in memoir writing and my political/climate essays and activism were all on separate tracks, but I feel them steadily converging, energizing and informing one another. You are a great teacher and example for that.”

AR, 2019