REGISTRATION BEGINS: January 13, 2022 at 12:00 pm


The Art Of Writing A Memoir

Instructor: Abdi Nor Iftin
Haystack Studio: Visiting Artist 
Materials Fee: no additional fee, please see the required texts below
Enrollment Limit: 15
Level: All Levels

Class Description:

When people read what we write, they usually depend upon our words and ways of writing our story to interpret the world for them. As writers, we do this through an engaging and simple language. For the reader, that becomes words to digest and a compelling story to follow. The workshop will focus on writing personal stories. Participants will read and discuss excerpts from published novels, memoirs and short stories, and write stories to share and discuss together.

At the end of this session, students will become familiar with the different ways to write a memoir. Students will understand the ways to approach creating think pieces, gathering material for their stories. Students will develop and hone an individual writing voice equipped to discuss personal stories.


Students will be required to bring the following texts for reference during the workshop:
– How to Write Your Own Life Story by Lois Daniel
– Writing for Story (Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction) Jon Franklin
– Writing About Your Life by William Zinsser
– Acts of Faith by Phillip Caputo
– Toni Morrison’s What Moves at the Margin

Additionally, students should remember to bring:
– Laptop and charger
– Notepad and writing tools.

About the Instructor-

Abdi Nor Iftin is a radio journalist, public speaker and the author of Call Me American, a memoir published by Penguin Random House of his heroic survival in war-ravaged Mogadishu, and his incredible journey to a new life in America.  As a child in war-torn Mogadishu, Abdi learned English by watching action movies. When U.S. Marines landed to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these real-life American action heroes. Sporting hip-hop clothes and dance moves, he became known as “Abdi American.” But when radical Islamists took control in 2006, it became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Instead, Abdi risked his life posting secret dispatches to NPR. As life in Somalia grew more dangerous, he fled to Kenya. In an amazing stroke of luck, he won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery. Abdi lives in Portland, ME.