I highly recommend Pam Bernard's class in memoir writing. Her approach is so effective that students enroll repeatedly, semester after semester. She inspires by sharing excerpts of renown memoirs, introduces effective prompts, and provides positively focused constructive criticism to pieces brought in by members of the class. Most importantly, she provides a safe and supportive atmosphere that empowers class members to write and rewrite about sometimes painful personal memories until they have produced fine work.
—Ginny Harvey Dawson author, Professor Emerita,
Counseling and School Psychology,
University of Massachusetts Boston
Pam Bernard's memoir class changed my life! I thought that I had something to say but I didn't know how to say it. With Pam's guidance and the feedback from the others in the class, I am now editing my little memoir.
—Frankie Brackley Tolman, Nelson, NH
When I sit down at my laptop to work on my memoir, it is possible only because of the writing I was encouraged to do in Pam Bernard's memoir class. In her class I received clarifying and constructive comments from her and my classmates. I am grateful to have learned how to better tell the stories of my life.
—David Robins, retired Unitarian Universalist minister
I have long known I have a story to tell. I enrolled in Pam’s classat the Sharon Arts campus over a year ago to learn the basics of memoir writing. I learned to love the challenge of writing with all my senses, of finding the right words to tell my story. It is what I take away from this class, what I could only learn by being challenged to do my best writing each and every week.
—Nancy Wilson, historian, Amherst, NH
Do you like to write? Have a personal story you'd like to tell? Pam Bernard offers her extraordinary talent, experience, and warmth by providing a foundation to inspire her students to write their stories. You will be forever changed and enriched in this vibrant community of good humor, good spirits, surrounded by accepting, supportive and talented classmates.
—Judith Salter, writer, Amherst, NH
I don't know why I decided to take Pam's memoir class. I had no intention of writing about my life. Memoirs I had read were full of tragedy or occasionally triumph. I saw my life as routine and mundane. Then Pam introduced me to William Zinnser who wrote: "Only small pieces of life make an interesting memoir...Tell stories whenever you can. People love to be told stories." Once I started I found that I did have many stories to tell. I can only hope that there is as much pleasure for the reader as there is for the writer.
—Michael Hearne, MD, retired cardiologist, New Boston, NH
Thanks so much for all the great critical feedback. I've learned so much and do feel that your coaching has helped me take my writing to the next level.
—Margaret Hanshaw, Somerville, Massachusetts
I've benefited enormously from your comments, insights, and recommendations.
—Judith Jacobson, Boulder, Colorado
To say that Pam Bernard is a skilled poetry mentor would fall far short of her actual worth to me. She has been, and continues to be, the closest reader of my poems, and their best critic. Pam possesses a keen knack for identifying language that is not fully realized and for combining encouragement with concise, practical suggestions that inevitably lead to better revisions. Any poet looking to improve his or her writing would benefit greatly from Pam's guidance.
—Mike Steffen, Roseto, Pennsylvania
Your reading of my manuscript is very astute–many many excellent suggestions. Ideas on arrangement are particularly helpful.
—Becky Gould Gibson, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
You have given me a better sense of the work as a whole, something I was struggling toward but couldn't quite seem to reach.
—Nancy Kassell, Brookline, Massachusetts
Your comments were incisive–in particular I admired your ability to extract themes and order from my chaos. I would recommend you in a heartbeat to other aspiring authors.
—Lisa Beatman, Roslindale, Massachusetts