Frequently Asked Questions for Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir

What is meant by a small-scale memoir?

The five pieces of writing done in response to Helena’s assignments for this course build both structure and draft of a small-scale, stand-alone work of memoir. This structure also provides the architecture for the development of a longer work.

Do I need to have prior experience writing nonfiction?


What is the time commitment for the course?

Just 3 dedicated hours each week will help you learn how to write for kids. On average, weekly assignments take about 1 hour to complete. You will also read and respond to the work of your classmates. This usually takes another hour. Finally, you will participate in weekly conference calls to share feedback on the work of your classmates, and to receive feedback from them and your teacher on your own work.

How many people are in a class?

The Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir online writing classes are limited to 7 participants.

When does the class meet?

We meet by telephone, in both individual sessions with the instructor, and as a group, via conference calling. Assignments are submitted weekly at your convenience, anytime prior to the deadline of midnight EST on Sunday.

Do I need computer skills to participate in this online writing program?

No.  All you need is a basic familiarity with e-mail.

Do I have to purchase anything?


What are assignments like?

Assignments often begin with simple list-making. List entries function as never-fail, potent prompts. Helena often teaches by example and will offer sample responses to her assignments using her own experiences and writing, as well as quotes from the work of other writers.

Each week for five weeks, you’ll receive a homework assignment by e-mail. When you complete it, you email it to the entire class anytime prior to midnight EST on Sunday. The assignments will:

  • Build a five part structure for a stand-alone memoir
  • Give you a method of listing to access and elaborate upon memories.
  • Offer ways to uncover a coherent life narrative or narratives.
How do I interact with my classmates and teacher?

In addition to group meetings with the instructor via conference calling, each week you’ll create a brief response to the writing of your classmates, as they, in turn, will do for you. These are due anytime prior to midnight EST on Tuesday. You’ll meet privately with your instructor on the telephone on alternate weeks for full discussion of your work. Instruction, feedback and supportive community combine to provide a full, growth experience.

How is my writing critiqued?

We don’t “critique” in this online writing course, because negative criticism closes off the very openness that allows good writing to flourish. In Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir, participants will support the strengths in each other’s writing and offer targeted feedback that answers questions such as: What was vivid about the writing? What held my attention? What did I want to know more about?

How is Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir organized?

The online writing program begins with one 5-week segment (PART ONE).  Thereafter you have the option of continuing into PART TWO (another 5-week segment) and PART THREE (a third 5-week segment) if you desire.

How much does it cost?

Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir consists of 5 weekly sessions and costs $265.

When's the next class?

New Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir online writing classes start up  throughout the year.  The next class begins Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.

Continuing classes are scheduled back-to-back, with a week-long break for holidays.

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How do I register?

You may register online by paying with your credit/debit card through PayPal.  No additional forms are needed.

You may also register offline by check using a printable form.

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