Speakers & Topics

2017 Writing Your Memoir Conference

Saturday ♦ June 17, 2017
8:30 am to 4:00 pm

Visit these conference pages:
Conference Location
Main Conference Page

For a pdf version of the conference program, go to 2017 Memoir Conference Program.

9:00 – 10:00 am
Sandra Toro
♦ The Non-Celebrity Commercial Memoir

This presentation will discuss the qualities which make a memoir commercially publishable.

After serving in the administrations of Presidents Carter and Clinton, Sandra began to write and teach creative writing at the U. of NE and UNM. She has published nine novels and has two more with her agent now.

10:15 – 11:15 am
Chloe Gallaway
♦ Put the Power Back in Your Writing, Connect to Your Inner Author

We all know that it’s important to connect with our reader on the page. But first we must connect with ourselves. If you feel that writing is a struggle and you find yourself problem solving it from your head, whether you write nonfiction, memoir, or fiction, the intuitive process can shed years off your work and make writing an amazing experience.

Chloe Rachel Gallaway is a master in her field at connecting writers to their intuitive author within, helping them write their best material, so they can bring their authentic message into the world.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Shirley Melis
♦ Writing a Memoir: Lessons Learned

In this presentation Shirley will share her memoir writing experience, highlighting how she transformed her first draft into a great read.

Shirley Melis, a graduate of Vassar, is a longtime business writer, travel writer and newspaper columnist who traveled the world interviewing everyone from busboys to heads of international organizations before launching a career in public relations in Washington, D.C.

12:30 – 1:45 pm
Steve Brewer (12:45-1:30)
♦ The Writing Life: You Call This Living?

Veteran author Steve Brewer will talk about the ups and downs of being a writer and how to keep your sanity at a time when the publishing industry is losing its mind.

Steve Brewer writes books about crooks, including the Bubba Mabry mysteries. His 30th published book, Side Eye, just came out (June 1). His first Bubba book, Lonely Street, was made into a 2009 Hollywood movie. A former journalist, he teaches at the Honors College at the University of New Mexico.

1:45 – 2:45 pm
Nasario Garcia
♦ A Return to My New Mexico Rural Roots in the Río Puerco Valley

This presentation is based on his memoir Hoe, Heaven, and Hell: My Boyhood in Rural New Mexico in Ojo del Padre, today a ghost town. It focuses on how to recapture one’s past that is truthful, well-structured, and enjoyable to read. Important as well is not to be tempted by exaggeration or romantic tendencies likely to skew the accuracy of those precious moments of a bygone era.

Nasario García grew up in the Río Puerco valley southeast of Chaco Canyon. He holds a Ph. D. in XIX century Spanish literature from the University of Pittsburgh. As a scholar and creative writer, he has published 31 books. His latest publications are all recent winners at the International Latino Book Awards and the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. They include Hoe, Heaven and Hell: My Boyhood in Rural New Mexico, Grandpa Lolo’s Matanza: A New Mexico Tradition, and Grandma Lale’s Tamales: A Christmas Story. Dr. García currently resides in Santa Fe with his wife Janice.

3:00 – 4:00 pm
Lynn C. Miller
♦ Your Story and Your Audience

Every successful memoir is a dance between the author’s intentions and the reader’s expectations of how the story will develop and deliver. We’ll explore building a relationship with your audience, one that fuels the reader’s satisfaction and investment in your story.

Lynn C. Miller is the author of three novels. Her most recent novel, The Day After Death is a 2017 Lambda finalist. She is the co-author of Find Your Story, Write Your Memoir. Short pieces have appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, Hawaii Review, Phoebe, Text and Performance Quarterly, Writer’s Forum, and Chautauqua Journal. She edits the literary journal Bosque.


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