Intro to Memoir | Mechanics' Institute

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Intro to Memoir

This is a class co-sponsored by MI and San Francisco Writers Conference/San Francisco Writers Foundation.

In this 90-minute class, Brooke Warner, Publisher of She Writes Press, former Executive Editor of Seal Press, and teacher of many popular online memoir classes at, will present what makes a memoir a memoir. This class will cover a bit of history about memoir, the definition of memoir, and what makes memoirs saleable. Brooke will do a deep dive into the genre of memoir to give students an overview of why it stands alone, how it’s different from fiction (beyond just the fact that what happened is true), and why it’s so very different from autobiography. The class will cover memoir’s own rocky reception -- as a genre that’s both well-loved but also that people love to hate -- and why this is the case. We’ll discuss some of the best-loved memoirs of all time as well, and end with a discussion about why memoir matters and how it has the capacity to change the life of the writer and make a lasting impact on the lives of readers as well.

Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Write On, Sisters!, Green-light Your Book, What's Your Book?, and three books on memoir. Brooke is a TEDx speaker, weekly podcaster (Write-minded with co-host Grant Faulkner of NaNoWriMo), and the former Executive Editor of Seal Press. She currently sits on the boards of the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Book Festival, and the National Association of Memoir Writers. She writes a monthly column for Publishers Weekly.

For each class, we reserve the right to cancel at any time and issue a full refund. If you are unable to attend your class, please email at least ten days prior to receive a refund. All fees must be paid at the time of registration.


Mechanics' Institute Members $29
Public $39
Register now ›
4th Floor Meeting Room
Taryn Edwards - 415-393-0103
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0101.

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