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).
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.
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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“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