Writing a Memoir

Borrowed from: http://gamepoems.gizmet.com/2011/03/game-poem-38-memoir/

Senior Year Memoir

You will be writing a memoir about some moment or event from your senior year. Choose something that changed you, your relationships, you understandings or expectations. There should be a growth in this experience, and it should be shown in the scene. If you have to articulate it, that's fine.

The emphasis in your writing should be bringing the scene to life with sensory details and specifics. Try to show and not tell.

The scene could be the moment you chose a specific college, knew what you wanted to study, decided to make a choice your parents didn't agree with, had a moment with a friend that reminded you of the importance of their relationship. You may choose a big or a small moment, but it should hold significance. It can be funny or sad, but it should have weight.

This is not a "Dear Diary". There should not be anything in the memoir that you wouldn't want me to see. Also if you are going to refer to anyone who would be identifiable by anyone in this school, please use fake names. Remember that this will be reduced down to six words so that it can be put on the back campus black top. You may be cryptic in your six word memoir if you wish to hide details from the general public, of course.

There does not have to be an essay structure to this; instead it is a narrative. It does not have to have a story arc, it can simply be the description of a moment or scene.

If you don't have any ideas about what you can write about, consider the following prompts (from Oprah.com).

  1. Write two pages of something you can't deny.
  2. Write two pages of what got left behind.
  3. Write two pages of something you wrote or did that you no longer understand.
  4. Write two pages of apologizing for something you didn't do.
  5. Write two pages about a physical characteristic you are proud to have inherited or passed on.
  6. Write two pages of what you had to have.
  7. Write two pages of humiliating exposure.
  8. Write two pages about a time when you felt compassion unexpectedly.
  9. Write two pages of what you have too much of.
  10. Write two pages of when you knew you were in trouble.