For Memoir Writers

Memoir is one of my favorite genres, so I’ve been compiling a list of resources for memoir writers for a while now. This list isn’t comprehensive, but it does answer the questions about memoir that I’m asked most often.

Recommended Reading

What IS Memoir?

Can I Fictionalize My Story?

Autobiographical Fiction: Telling a real experience, or a full life story, as a fictional account. Usually written like a memoir, featuring first-person narration, with a stand-in for the author as the protagonist.

NOTE: Autobiographical fiction does NOT present itself as memoir (avoiding the fate of author James Frey, who was exposed for his fabrications in A Million Little Pieces), nor does it pretend to have zero basis in real events (unlike author Kathryn Stockett, who got in trouble for claiming The Help was entirely a work of fiction).

To win over publishers and readers, authors who write autobiographical fiction should be honest and upfront about the nature of what they’ve written. For examples of what I mean by this, see:

Laws and Legalities

Pitching Memoir

Examples of Memoirs