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The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir with Jennifer Browdy: Dreaming Deep

January 28 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm



Jennifer Browdy

Join BFWW Founding Director Jennifer Browdy in a new series of monthly memoir writing workshops, coinciding with the publication of her new writing guide, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion (Order here.)

The theme for this month is “Dreaming Deep. From writer’s guide: “In January, though the ice may be frozen over the stream, the water still flows beneath. Your task is to drill down through the layers that have formed between you and your childhood, surprising yourself with the memories that come rising slowly to the surface, intact with details and laden with insights that can only come with the passage of time.” 

These writing workshops are designed to accompany the monthly writing prompts in the writer’s guide; 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. Come to just one month, or register for the whole series! Drop-ins welcome.

Register here. 

Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D., 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 Press.

Her 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.

elemental-journey-cover-new-sm-copyJennifer 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 Winter/Spring series of writing workshops will be held on January 28, February 25, March 25, April 15 and May 20, 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. Come to any one, or the whole series!

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


January 28
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
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South Berkshire Friends Meeting
280 State Road
Great Barrington, MA
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