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The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir with Jennifer Browdy: The Warmth of Childhood

May 20 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


May’s catalyst for memoir writing is “The Warmth of Childhood.” From Jennifer’s Writer’s Companion: “This month, try to reach back to your childhood self to consider your connections both to other humans and to our larger ‘tribe’ of Gaians. What were your fascinations as a very small child? What were you aware of in the world around you?”

These writing workshops are designed to accompany the monthly writing prompts in Jennifer’s new book, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion. Participants should expect to do some writing together at each session, and there will also be time for sharing excerpts from your own memoir writing, whether or not you are using the Writer’s Companion book as a source of inspiration. Drop-ins welcome.

Register here.

Jennifer, a professor of literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and founding director of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, is a gifted teacher, editor and author coach specializing in memoir. Her own memoir, What I Forgot…And Why I Remembered: A Journey to Environmental Awareness and Activism Through Purposeful Memoir, will be released in April 2017 by Green Fire PressLearn more about Jennifer here.

10438429_934278436615392_9123658787841461554_nHer unique framework for teaching memoir provides multiple entry points for the investigation of the stages of life, using the four elements as metaphors: Earth, the childhood ground of our being; Water, the social flow we enter as teenagers and young adults; Fire, the passions and trials of full adulthood; and Air, our own constant commentary on our lived experience.

“Memoir is an opportunity to explore how our personal experience aligns with (or diverges from) the dominant cultural narratives of our time and place, as well as how we have related, over time, to the broader planetary landscape that sustains us,” Jennifer says.

Jennifer has coined the term “purposeful memoir” to describe a life history undertaken “to offer the fruits of our experiences to as nourishment to others, and to answer the call to step fully into our potential as the positive change agents the world needs now.”

Her new book, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion, offers monthly writing prompts designed to catalyze any writer’s memory.

“The prompts are open-ended and thought-provoking, like beacons along the journey through the personal and social landscapes that live on in our memories,” Jennifer says. “Everyone’s story is so different, but we all experience some commonalities as we go through life. As the title of this book suggests, I intend the monthly prompts and essays on craft to offer companionship and guidance for new and experienced memoirists alike. We’re all on this journey together!”

The Spring series of writing workshops take place from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the South Berkshire Friends Meeting House, 280 State Road, Great Barrington. The cost is $35 per session. 

Register here.

Memoir writing workshop led by Jennifer at the Rookwood Inn, Lenox

Memoir writing workshop led by Jennifer at the Rookwood Inn, Lenox


Praise for Jennifer’s memoir writing workshops:

“Jennifer’s passion for ‘women who write’ is evident in her ongoing commitment to those of us who do. In a soft voice she fearlessly leads, directs, and most of all…deeply cares. We wrote from our hearts and she opened hers, steering us here, guiding us there and always… leading us right back to ourselves.” –NP, Dallas TX

“Jennifer provided a warm and accepting safe haven for us to share the tender parts of ourselves through writing exercises presented with an expert and delicate hand. The format kept us moving, thinking, laughing, writing, and the time flew! At the end of this weekend, I felt both inspired and encouraged that, maybe, just maybe, I really can write!” –AS, Lenox MA

“Many, many thanks for an amazing weekend. It was worth every minute of traveling….I will be forever grateful and in remembrance of the incred- ible women in this group!”— PS, San Francisco CA

“Thanks so much to Jennifer for leading us on a rich, evocative journey.”— ZR, Lee MA


May 20
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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South Berkshire Friends Meeting
280 State Road
Great Barrington, MA
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