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August 2019

Maybe you just finished the first draft of your memoir. Maybe you’re fighting through the murky middle. Or maybe you’ve yet to pick up a pen. No matter where you’re at, our 2019 memoir guide is here to help.

Inside you’ll find:

  • A toolbox for finding the heart of your memoir (and where on earth to start it)
  • A guide for including empathy – for characters, for your reader, and for you – in your memoir
  • Thoughts on having your family read your memoir for the first time
  • Tips for older memoirists who want to tell their life story
  • Books for memoirists

And much, much more! Take a peek at our stories below and then be sure to find a copy at your local newsstand this month.

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Bonnie Hearn Hill

What I wish I’d known

By Bonnie Hearn Hill

Read the first-place winner of our 2019 essay contest.


Ready, set, quote

By Bill Glose

Wow your subjects – and your editors – by nailing the three stages of an interview.

Knowing when to pull the plug

By Jack Smith

No draft is perfect, but some projects seem more problematic than others…and others still seem doomed for the recycle bin. Essayists, memoirists, novelists, and short story writers share tips on finishing and publishing difficult manuscripts.

Empathy in every direction

By Ana Maria Spagna

A successful memoir hinges on empathy – for your characters, yes, but also for yourself. Here’s how to convey it in the page.

Flesh and blood and ink

By Jen A. Miller

What happens when your family reads your memoir for the first time?

No one wants to hear your whole life story

By Sarah Van Arsdale

Just because your life started in childhood doesn’t mean your memoir should.

A life's worth of experiences

By Dani Burlison

As an older adult, you have a wealth of wisdom and memories to share with the world – but sometimes fear can get in the way of putting yourself on the page. These tried-and-true tips will help you get started.


From the Front Lines

1,000 words

By Yi Shun Lai

Sometimes, good writing is about the pictures.

Freelance Success

The work will get done. There’s no choice.

By Pete Croatto

The reality of freelance writing presented in one day.

Market Focus

How to craft an anthology proposal

By Kelly Jensen

Creating a thoughtful, structured proposal won’t just make your collection easier to sell – it’ll also serve as a roadmap to the finished product.

Conference Insider

The Muse and the Marketplace

By Melissa Hart

Literary Spotlight


By Melissa Hart

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From the Editor

Take Note

How I Write