MemoirTen interconnected prompts and four weeks to flesh out a moment or memory that won’t let you go, and an individual conversation completely focused on your work.

Join me to write one of your mini memoirs.

You might be asking: One of my memoirs?

So many of us have a memoir in us–and yet the task of writing such a thing is daunting. I know; seven years ago, I wrote feverishly for hours that led to days, weeks, months, and over a year to where the wild things are…. ok, I stole that.

What really happened was this: I thought I was writing a memoir. I thought it was about bulimia and smoking and marriage and motherhood and Judaism and “finding myself” and being an artist and free spirit in a conventional container that never quite fit. I also had this sneaking suspicion that it was about all and none of these things, and that I was writing my way down into the deepest parts of myself.

Turned out that last part was true. Turned out, the story I needed to tell was one I hadn’t lived yet, that of coming out of the closet. The memoir, the pages themselves — these I stuck in a three-ring binder and shelved. That photo above? Evidence of what can happen when you take on the whole megillah at once. (I found it in a box in the attic this weekend and thought, “Huh.”)

In my case, the book I thought I was writing led to life changes and eventually became a collection of poems that told the whole thing in a way I never could have imagined or predicted.

Moral of the story? Well, no moral really. And I’ll go ahead and clarify that straight writers will not “turn gay” as a result of this class (though there are much worse outcomes in my book!).

My point is this: Bite-sized pieces and baby steps are a good way to start writing, or to finish writing, or to keep going. Wherever you may be in relation to a memory or a moment in your life that has a hold on you, these four weeks will give you the time, space, and structure to let them speak, in a safe container of fellow writers and insightful readers.

At the end of our time together writing, each participant will have the option of scheduling a private conversation to discuss your work, via phone or Skype (or in person, if you prefer).

Upcoming dates
March 6-27, 2017

During the four weeks of the group, the prompts will be on Mondays, Wednesday & Fridays, to allow for ample time to reflect, write, read, and comment on each other’s work.


Group Size:
Limited to 12 participants

“Possibly the most beautiful prompts you’ve ever written. Thank you! Wow!” – Emily Nichols Grossi

“Your prompts helped to reach deep, find forgotten treasures of my past.” – Emmy Van Swaaij

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* Contact me with any questions or to arrange an installment plan.


“Best. Prompts. Ever. And, best support ever. Jena creates containers of safety, support, depth, and community. We go deep and are met with compassion, insightful comments, and a cheer (especially for not editing), not only by Jena but by the entire group. This was my fourth Jena group and the pattern is clear. Highly recommended!” – Teresa Luttrell

“Mini Memoirs has prompted and inspired me to look at my life differently and deeply. That’s not just a course deliverable, that’s a lasting gift. This class exceeded my expectations.” – Margaret Keen

“Jena creates, holds space, and inspires like nobody’s business.” – Emily Armstrong Oberto

“This is a FABULOUS writing opportunity. I didn’t want it to end.” – Pamela Hunt Cloyd

“The group became as much about the magic of reconnecting with the reading experience as with the liberation of freewriting.” – Chrissy Boylan Simonte

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