Pam Bernard

If You Don't Tell Your Story, Who Will?

Ongoing Memoir/Personal
Narrative Workshops
of Pam Bernard

Usually at her home in Walpole NH,
now conducted temporarily via video conference on ZOOM

Please email for more information

A series of writing and reading workshops for those interested in transforming the deep exploration of experience into a convincing and compelling story. This workshop is not a competitive sport. Each member is encouraged to participate at his or her own pace and comfort level.

  • Explore the genre and learn the ground rules
  • Experiment with different approaches to making the personal universal
  • Develop your unique voice and style to bring your story to life
  • Classes are capped at 7-8.

    Fee: 8-week session (3 hours each class, 24 hours total) $350
    Day-long workshops $75


    The Walpole Workshop Photo: (left to right) Pam Bernard; Bill Reed, Walpole; Sarah Franklin, Keene; Christine Cole, Bellows Falls, VT; Yvette Yeager, Keene; Rutherford Witthus, Walpole; Sabrina Lee, Keene (not present: Kim Hamilton Bobrow, Bernardston, MA; Prudence Baird, Putney, VT.

    Vivian Gornick says:  Penetrating the familiar is by no means a given. On the contrary, it is hard, hard work. Unlike any other mode of writing, memoir demands a kind of honesty that cannot be faked or manufactured. A successful narrative will rise from raw experience, but transcend that experience by virtue of, and in direct relation to, our willingness to honor our lives. A memoir should reveal a writer who shapes memory and experience, and it is this struggle that will ultimately move our reader. We own what has happened to us, and this includes what we remember. No one else can claim that. But the process demands that we redefine the act of remembering, and in that way redefine what memory is. Striving for perfect recall encourages us to be a transcriber rather than a storyteller. Delight in the moment when memory becomes story. Please join us at the table. This workshop could change your life.

    How it works:
    We all have a story to tell about our lives. But often we don't know how to start, what to make of it if we have started—how to shape it or expand it—and perhaps most important, who will listen and care as this sometimes bumpy process unfolds.

    These will be small group sessions either in my home, around a big table in an inviting space, fireplace in cold months, lovely porch and deck on warm days.

    I provide a nurturing, productive atmosphere where we go forward as a group toward a better understanding of how to draft, shape, and finish your personal narrative/memoir. This workshop will be more than a group critique. It will provide a community of writers where each will be encouraged to share work, receive careful, particularlized attention, and offered a safe place to discuss ideas and thoughts, and where participants' personal narratives are given thoughtful, rigorous feedback.

    Each session is based on three components and conducted in this format:

    We begin by reading a narrative by a contemporary writer, which we will explore and discuss with regard to craft.

    I will offer writing prompts in a relaxed, free-write atmosphere for the purpose of generating new drafts.

    We will then work as a group on each narrative brought to the workshop, focusing in particular on whether the writer's deep intention is successfully translated. As well, we will explore and discuss artistic choices related to craft as a way to further each narrative project.

    Here are testimonials from six of my current students: CLICK HERE


    © 1999-2017 Pam Bernard, & Poetry Coach. All Rights Reserved.