How to Write a Successful Memoir

Suzanne-Sherman-Book-Consultant-Proposal-WriterSuccessful memoirs are much more than a collection of events with hundreds of hours of effort poured into the writing of them. They are more than a good story propelled by great ambition. What does it take to write a good memoir, or even a bestselling memoir? Do you have to be a seasoned, professional writer to do it? No, but you need to become one, and part of the way to do that is to learn the essentials of successful memoir and put them into practice.

I give you the essentials and a chance to practice them in my info-packed memoir tele-classes series, which launches in summer 2016. Sign up for my newsletter and get the latest as the series rolls out.



In this weekly 1-hour tele-class you’ll learn the difference between topic and theme and identify yours for your book. You’ll explore the meaning of universality and reader takeaways and uncover your own. Y0u’ll get familiar with the range of categories of memoir and see where yours fits. How do you structure a memoir? You’ll learn the many good ways and choose a structure for your own. You’ll also learn about building on that solid foundation. Characters (the people in your story) must have dimension, and you’ll find out how to create them as you turn truth to art. A discussion and question period following the presentation gives you a chance to have your questions answered and learn from others.

The Essentials for a Successful Memoir is for new memoir writers with an idea for a book in mind or already in progress.

Mondays, 4 pm PST/8 pm EST | July 25 – August 8

EARLY BIRD: Register by June 15 for only $97

Register by July 24: $197

Registered class members receive an audio recording of every class within 24 hours.


The emotional landscape is a vital aspect of memoir writing, and knowing how to navigate it can mean the difference between writing your book or putting it on the shelf for a “later” that never comes. Memoir can ask you to write about emotionally challenging or revealing truths as you write about your life and some of the people  who have affected you. You can feel vulnerable or uncomfortable when you expose yourself to painful memories that are essential to your story. Creating story from a painful past can even inhibit your creative process and cause you to close the door on your project (ever heard of “writer’s block”?!).

But there’s tremendous opportunity here, too. I’ll draw on examples in bestselling memoirs by authors who’ve navigated tough terrain to touch others with their truths. In this three-week tele-class you’ll learn methods for capturing and using what you need for your book while preserving your well-being. You’ll also enjoy a forum for exchanging thoughts about activating a part of your past you may have put to rest but have to dramatize for your book.

Navigating the Emotional Landscape is for all writers.

Mondays, 4 pm PST/8 pm EST | August 15 – August 29

EARLY BIRD: Register by July 1 for only $97

Register by August 14 for $197

Registered class members receive an audio recording of every class within 24 hours.

TO REGISTER: Contact me to register. You’ll get the dial-in number and access code with enrollment confirmation.

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Suzanne is a knowledgeable and sensitive instructor and writer. She expertly guided me while I wrote Among the Silent Giants, which was published in 2012 thanks to Suzanne’s quality coaching. It has won honorable mention at the 2013 Los Angeles Book Festival and other awards.—Sharon Porter Moxley, Author

With Suzanne, writers can soar. Writing memoir takes time, trust and making it through repeated challenges. It is very therapeutic, and Suzanne can track the mysteries of the emotional landscape with tenderness and understanding.—Caroline Muir, Author

Suzanne is incredibly bright and talented. She has an academic yet sensitive approach that leaves her students well-grounded in the genre.—Frances Caballo, Social Media Strategist/Author

I came to Suzanne’s memoir class with very little experience and much excitement.  She trained me in the basics of the craft and took the time to focus on the essence of my writing while giving me feedback honestly and tactfully. Because of her encouragement, I gained confidence in my writing and improved.—Laurie Jacobvitz


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