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The Art of Memoir: Becoming Your Story’s Protagonist with Lori Soderlind via Zoom

November 7, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm


If you’re writing memoir, you don’t have to think twice about who your story’s protagonist is. It’s you. What you do need to think about is how to shape yourself into that believable, suitably complicated, and reasonably balanced (meaning, flawed by still tolerable) character at the center of a story. In this workshop, we’ll explore the qualities that make strong protagonists in our stories, then write and share scenes from our own lives that put these qualities to use. We’ll also discuss “character arc” as a central component of satisfying stories, leading to one of the hardest parts of writing memoir: provoking insight, and recognizing noteworthy moments of change in our lives.


NB: This class will be taught on Zoom and will be capped at 12 students. Registrants will receive the Zoom link to the email address they use to register. It will arrive immediately after registration so please check your spam folder if you do not receive it. It will also be sent the day before class as a reminder. Please review the course policies page before registering for any classes.


Lori Soderlind is author of two memoirs: The Change (My Great-American, Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour) and Chasing Montana (A Love Story). The Change was nominated for a LAMBDA Award in 2021. She is the beloved former director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Manhattanville College and now teaches at Skidmore. Her writing has appeared in anthologies and journals; her essay “66 Signs” is included in the Norton Anthology of Best Creative Nonfiction. She has reviewed books for the New York Times and elsewhere.

Lori began her career in print journalism, working as a reporter, editor, and freelancer for newspapers and magazines across New Jersey and New York. After earning an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, she worked as a city editor at the Times Union newspaper in Albany, NY, and taught writing at SUNY’s Albany campus. She was also an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Western Connecticut State University and a professor of journalism at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, CT,  before taking her position as director of the Manhattanville College MFA program.

Her latest book, The Change, was the fruit of a long drive she took with her dog Colby, setting off to find “the most depressing places I could find in the country,” Lori has explained, though she only had time to scratch the surface. Colby died peacefully at home shortly before his sixteenth birthday. Lori now lives in New York City with her Portuguese water dog Graci.


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November 7, 2021
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States