Micro-memoir: True stories in 800 words (or less)

“Write about small, self-contained incidents that are still vivid in your memory. If you remember them, it’s because they contain a larger truth that your readers will recognize in their own lives. Think small and you’ll wind up finding the big themes in your family saga. ” ~William Zinsser~

A four-week workshop—Thursday August 22
6 PM to 8:30 PM
Shape & Flow Writing Studio, #123
Mellwood Arts Center
$120 (pre-registration required)
Kimberly Crum, Instructor

The challenge of memoir is knowing where to start and end, what to highlight, what to leave out. Often the topic of a life story is way too big to tell. How do you capture the meat of the story, the relationships, the trauma and the triumph, without getting bogged down?

In my blog essay, “Start with the Squirrels,” I reflect on the reason why my father, a talented storyteller with a remarkable life, was unable to write his memoir. The idea was too big, as was his life. Life, in reflection, is long. So, why not “start small?”

In an article in The Writer, “Making much of the moment: a guide to the micro-memoir,” author Beth Ann Fennely describes very short memoir in the following way: “A true hybrid, the micro-memoir strives to combine the extreme abbreviation of poetry, the narrative tension of fiction, and the truth-telling of creative nonfiction.”

The micro-memoir captures a moment in one sentence to 700 words. Also known as vignette, flash or postcard prose, micro-memoir can stand alone or be part of a collection, whose unrelated parts form a whole.

Join a small group of aspiring writers for this workshop. Instructor Kimberly Crum—essayist and owner of the Shape & Flow Writing Studio—will lead participants to compose new work in this popular prose form. You will read and discuss examples of micro-memoir and begin three first drafts of true stories, each 500 words or less. Students will share work aloud and participate in strength-based peer commentary.

Enroll today! Once you request enrollment, I’ll send  an electronic invoice which you can pay by check or credit card. Contact Kimberly at shapeandflow@gmail.com



Kimberly Crum, MFA is a published writer and former college writing and literature instructor who loves teaching “ordinary” people who want to learn the writing craft and tell their stories, for publication or posterity.

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