Author presents memoir workshops to public

Shown left to right, Judith Petry, Linda Elkan, Pam Bernard, Judy Epstein, and Wylene Branton Wood, all previous participants in the workshops. Photo provided

WALPOLE, N.H. – Award-winning author Pam Bernard announces the continuation of her popular memoir workshops, to begin the week of March 7, on Zoom. These will be eight-week sessions, three hours per class.

As well as a group critique, crucial issues of craft are explored in these workshops such as narrative stance and tone, while fresh work is generated each week from prompts. Participants from all over New England bring their experience to the page by harnessing memory and imagination, and learning to shape their writing into compelling narratives as a way to explore and ultimately honor their lives.

In a mediocre memoir the writer cannibalizes experience with the intent to sensationalize, or settles for mere recollection of past events, or worse, aims to settle a score. A good memoir reveals a writer who risks self-examination, with an eye to shaping memory and experience. Rather than a running tally of what has happened to us, no matter how dramatic, it is the honest undertaking of this challenging task that will ultimately move our readers. It’s not merely that we fail or misbehave or were the victim of abuse or neglect or made bad decisions, but how and why those events or moments made us who we are, who we were along the way to the adult narrator who has taken charge of the story. But given that memory is mutable, this is an inexact science. And it is precisely this inexactness that attracts our reader because it parallels real life.

Pam Bernard is author of four books, the most of recent a verse novel titled Esther. She is also a painter, editor, writing mentor, and adjunct professor at Keene State College. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and B.A. from Harvard University. Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Days and times vary. Please email or, visit, or call 603-756-4177 for more information.



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