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Memoir Foundations with Iliana Regan

$330.00 · August 6

We will discuss how to write the good, bad, scary and how to navigate writing about our friends, family, and partners. 

Start Date

August 6

Day(s) of the Week


Class Times

6:30pm – 9:00pm CT




Zoom (online)




In stock


You know your story, so how do you tell it? How do you even begin to write it? Where does it start and how does it end? What is the story and who are you and why do you want to tell it? In this course we will try to answer these questions for ourselves. 

We have many dimensions. In this course we will narrow in on what dimension we will explore. We will think about themes, symbols, through-lines and how to construct our story using these ideas as our foundations. We will discuss how to write the good, bad, scary and how to navigate writing about our friends, family, and partners. 

Ideas, readings, and discussions will include:

  • Voice– writing like we talk and talking like we think.
  • POV—which you is telling this story?
  • Scene—show don’t tell.
  • Memory vs. Gist
  • Crafting the narrative.
  • Authors to read and discuss: Sarah Broom, Harry Crews, Jeanette Walls, Joan Didion, Malala Yousafzai, James Baldwin

Week 1: Voice. You have one, trust it. In this class we will discuss the hook and how you create it using your voice. What is your first sentence? We will think of our themes, symbols, and through-lines and will write our memories over them. 

Week 2: Point of view. Where are you? When are you? Which you is telling your story and how do you decide? In this class we will discuss how to navigate this as we travel through our past and present.

Week 3: Scene. Now that we may know which version(s) of you is telling the story, how do we invite our reader in? On a basic level, how do we start our chapters and how do we end them? How do we decide if we even have chapters and what are they about? In this class we will use some of what we’ve already discussed in earlier classes to narrow our focus. In this class we will begin to have break out sessions for some one-on-one time while others use writing prompts to generate story.

Week 4: Memory vs Gist. If we simply wrote every memory we wanted to tell, how would we tie them together? How do we turn these memories into a memoir? What if we misremember? In this class we will discuss tricks to push the story forward using the memories we’ve written. We’ll talk about giving ourselves permission. One-on-one sessions and prompts will continue.

Week 5: Crafting the narrative. Given all we’ve been thinking about, discussing, writing, and reading, how do we build our house? What is our foundation? We’ll attempt to give answers to everything we’ve asked ourselves so far. However, on a basic level, we will look at where we are taking our reader, how we are inviting them in and keeping them with us through our story telling. You do not need to be famous to have a story that is worthy of being read. Your story is special enough. 

About Iliana Regan

Iliana Regan is the Chef and Owner of Milkweed Inn, bed and breakfast, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She is a Michelin star chef from Chicago, a James Beard Nominee, and was named Best Chef by Food and Wine Magazine in 2016. Her first memoir Burn the Place, was published in July of 2019 and has received numerous accolades, including a position on the longlist from the National Book Foundation. Her second memoir, Fieldwork, will be published in January 2023.