Memoir Writing in Prison with Allison Langer and Exchange for Change

Summer schedule: June 14-August 2, 2017

Student inmates will get an introduction to MEMOIR WRITING since this is the first time memoir writing has been taught in the Dade Country Correctional Institute.

Week 1: Students learn basic tips for writing true stories. (Like starting an essay with WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE (grounding the reader). Click here for a full list of writing tips. The students will write from a short prompt + share their writing. The Wig, by Brady Udall will be read for homework and discussed in class the following week. 

Week 2: How to start a story. Students will discuss The Wig, by Brady Udall. Discussion will revolve around how Udall starts The Wig. (Get in the boat + float down the river.) Then students will write using the techniques learned in The Wig. 

Week 3: Details + Scene. Go back to The Wig for details + scene. Write and share. For homework, students will take home The Ring by Stephen King

Week 4: Why now? Students will discuss The Ring, by Stephen King. Discussion will revolve around the question, Why now? Why is King writing this essay now. Why are students writing their essay now? Students will be given a prompt.....then write and share.

Week 5: OMIT needless words…one clear idea per sentence. Reference The Ring and The Wig. Write + share omitting needless words.

Week 6: Situation vs Story? What have you learned? Why do we care? Using the The Wig + The Ring, discuss the difference between situation + story. Write + share.

Week 7: What is the story about?  Introduce story spine. What have you come to say? Refer back to The Wig + The Ring. Write + share.

Week 8: How tangents affect your story. (good + bad). Look at The Wig for examples. Write + share.