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The Beads & The Necklace: How To Start & Revise a Memoir or Series of Personal Essays by Finding a Compelling Structure in Six Weeks with David McLoghlin (via Zoom)

July 9 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm


This 6-week class will be taught on Zoom (Tuesdays, July 9 – August 13, 1:30-3:30 PM ET).

Whether you’re getting started or are mid-draft, this class will help you map and clarify your structure. This class takes a process-driven approach via discussion of different aspects of craft and a series of in-class writing and story-mapping exercises that will give you a condor’s-eye perspective of the story you want to tell.

During our time together, you will generate new work, study your current draft and get a handle on the “story within the story” of your work in progress. The workshop portion of class will assist you in the art of positive and supportive critique, leading you to form literary friendships and find future readers for your work. I have two goals for you in this class: that by the end of our time together, you will have thoroughly mapped your project, as well as connected with classmates with whom you can share future work. If you want to learn how to create a macroscopic view of your project that you can use as a compass for future drafts, then this class is for you.

Course Outline
Although learning to read as writers is vital, this class will not give you excessive homework. Rather, we will divide our class time between learning about and then practicing important craft elements. These will include:
 implementing a three-part structure that works for you.
 mapping your main plot points, obligatory scenes and characters.
 learning how to hook the reader and make them want to keep reading.
 identifying your genre, and throughline / central narrative thread.
 working with leitmotifs, by implementing recurring images, or thematic elements.
 working with time in memoir.

My teaching is informed by books like
 The Art of Time in Memoir, by Sven Birkerts
 The Anti-Racist Workshop, by Felicia Rose Chavez
 The Story Grid, by Shawn Coyne
 Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative, by Melissa Febos
 Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
 The Situation and the Story, by Vivian Gornick
 Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
 Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process, by John McPhee
 The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield
 Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, by Joan Bolker
 One Continuous Mistake, by Gail Sher

NB: This 6-week class will be taught on Zoom (Tuesdays, July 9 – August 13, 1:30-3:30 PM ET) 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. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

All HVWC scholarship applications will be available on May 1 and will be due on May 15 for all summer/fall 2024 classes.

David McLoghlin is a prize-winning poet and writer of memoir and personal essay. His books are Waiting For Saint Brendan and Other Poems and Santiago Sketches. His third book, Crash Centre, will be published in May 2024 by Salmon Poetry. Apart from a major bursary (grant) for memoir from Ireland’s Arts Council, and a personal essay published in the anthology Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America (Black Lawrence Press), he has published personal essays, short stories and memoir extracts in The Stinging Fly, Poetry Ireland Review and other journals. An essay on being mentored by poet Sharon Olds is forthcoming in This Glistening Verb (University of Michigan Press) as part of their “Under Discussion” series. He is currently at work on a book about his grandfather, the golf architect, Eddie Hackett, widely considered “the Father of Irish Golf Design.” In October 2023 he played one of his grandfather’s designs, Connemara Golf Links, and is writing an immersion piece for Golfer’s Journal in the USA. He has taught memoir for The Center for Fiction, and teaches creative writing in Ireland with The American College, Dublin, Poetry as Commemoration and Writers in Schools. While living in New York between 2010 and 2020 he was Resident Writer at Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx, and an NYU Teaching Fellow at Coler Specialty Hospital; and a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship Recipient (2023).


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The Beads & The Necklace (David McLoghlin)
$ 335.00
9 available


July 9
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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