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10:00 AM10:00

Memoir Workshop

Writing Your Truth: Memoir Workshop

In this workshop, led by memoirist and personal essayist, Nadine Kenney Johnstone, you will learn why it’s crucial for writers to speak their truth in their writing. In this session, you will read published examples of truthful writing and learn how to write about yourself and your life in a way that it is both honest and engaging.

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9:00 AM09:00

Write Your Truth

You want to write about a moment from your past, but you worry about what your real life characters, your readers, and your inner critic will say. How can you write the truth when there's so much at stake? In this workshop, led by memoirist and personal essayist, Nadine Kenney Johnstone, you will learn why it’s crucial for writers to speak their truth in their writing. In this session, you will read published examples of truthful writing and learn how to write about yourself and your characters in a way that it is both fair and honest.

Nadine Kenney Johnstone is the author of the memoir, Of This Much I'm Sure, which was named Book of the Year by the Chicago Writers Association. Her infertility story has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Today’s Parent, MindBodyGreen, Metro, and Chicago Health Magazine, among others. She teaches at Loyola University and received her MFA from Columbia College in Chicago. Her other work has been featured in various magazines and anthologies, including Chicago Magazine, PANK, and The Magic of Memoir. Nadine is a writing coach who presents at conferences internationally. She lives near Chicago with her family. Follow her at

Nadine will accept manuscripts for critique. Please see Manuscript Guidelines on our website.

9-9:30 Socializing 

9:30-12 Program 

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10:00 AM10:00

Storytelling Workshop

Learn the craft of storytelling, with ample time to write your story. Then learn best presentation techniques, finishing with an opportunity to present your story to the group.

Are you a fan of The Moth storytelling program, or do you have a story to tell? Please join author, college professor, writing coach, and storyteller Nadine Kenney Johnstone for a storytelling workshop. Participants will learn the art of writing a story, will write their own story, and will be given the opportunity to share their story with the group.

Please bring paper, pens, laptop, or some material on which to craft your story.

Lunch will be provided.

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to Oct 15

Interlochen Writing Retreat

  • Interlochen Center for the Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Writing Meaningful Stories in Fiction and Non-Fiction
How do you make a story resonate with readers? Join us for this 2-day weekend workshop and learn methods for giving your work the emotional layering required to make it satisfying to both editors and readers. We will read published excerpts and explore how successful authors have structured their stories with emotion. Brainstorming exercises, group discussions and in-class writing activities will focus on layering your writing for deeper meaning and impact. Participants will share their work in a supportive environment and receive constructive feedback. Please join us to reinvigorate your writing practice!

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6:30 PM18:30

Memoir In a Year

Writing a memoir can be tough. You explore the past, examine your experience, write about the people and places close to you, overcome doubts or fears, and shape all of this into a narrative that connects with readers…

Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone! 

Our Memoir in a Year program will help and support you during the long road from plotting to composition to revision and beyond. It’s a unique opportunity to join a writing cohort, study craft, workshop key scenes, measure your progress, and meet deadlines.

Applications due Sept. 7!

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7:00 PM19:00

Complicated Conception: A couple shares their story of family-building despite infertility

Nadine Kenney Johnstone will discuss her memoir, Of This Much I'm Sure, about her near death experience after an IVF procedure. One in every 8 couples struggles to have a baby, yet few couples openly discuss their infertility. Nadine and her husband Jamie will detail their conception challenges and the hopeful words that healed them. Come learn about the story behind the book and raise awareness about an important issue. 

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4:30 PM16:30

Online Memoir Builder Class (6 weeks)

Are you writing a memoir and need a weekly deadline to keep you on track? This six-week online memoir workshop is open to memoirists at all draft stages and of all experience levels. The main goal of the course is simply to generate new memoir material or revamp dull scenes. Each week, students will read model memoir chapters for inspiration, complete weekly writing assignments, and will engage in craft talks and writing prompts. Each student will also get the opportunity to have one polished memoir excerpt workshopped by the class and instructor. Students will leave the class with six new memoir scenes.

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8:00 AM08:00

Online Revision Workshop (5 weeks)

First drafts are fun to write, but great writers know that it's in revision that a piece of writing truly takes shape. Many published writers admit that they are not amazing writers, but excellent revisers, and that makes all the difference.

This 5-week workshop will guide participants through the steps of effective micro- and macro-revision and the peer review process, and will conclude with advice on how to submit work for publication to newspapers, literary magazines, and other publishers. Participants will submit one essay of up to 4,000 words for feedback from both their instructor and their fellow students, and will then revise and will share passages of revised work for class comment. 

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10:00 AM10:00

Presenting at the Muse and The Marketplace

Session: What She Writes and How She Publishes It

Are you waiting for someone else to decide if and when your book gets published? Join a memoirist, novelist, and hybrid-publisher project manager as they discuss why and how authors can take charge of their book publishing dreams. Jeanne Blasberg and Nadine Kenney Johnstone will discuss their journeys to publication while Cait Levin will speak about the hybrid publishing model and how it differs from both traditional and self publishing. 

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