NYWC City Voices – Memoir

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Personal Matters: Writing for Personal Discovery, Individual Transformation & Social Change

Wednesdays   /   6:00 – 9:00 p.m.   /   Fort Greene, Brooklyn   /   Beginning April 15

The act of writing can be a powerful vehicle for self-discovery, personal transformation, and social change. Memoir writing in particular can empower individuals and communities to foster enduring meaning for themselves, a stronger sense of identity, courage for growth and change, and vision to seek and restore balance to individual lives and communities.

Personal Matters is an 8-week personal memoir-writing workshop for writers interested in making meaning out of the conflicts of our lives and finding personal and socially just resolution through the act of creating outstanding literary nonfiction. The workshop is a cross between the NY Writers Coalition workshop model with a trauma-informed curriculum developed by freelance writer and writing instructor Melissa Petro.  This workshop incorporates lecture, mentor texts, and writing exercises with positive, supportive feedback as well as critique of ongoing projects. Personal Matters is ideal for anyone seeking to explore the therapeutic benefits of writing their own personal narrative and/or those interested in learning how to use lived experiences to support arguments in persuasive writing.

Writers of all genres and levels of experience are welcome. This workshop method is designed to deepen your writing skills, while bringing new energy and encouragement to your writing. It allows writers of all backgrounds, ages, and genres to grow together as writers.


  • Week 1: What is memoir? + Introduction to Character
  • Week 2: Choosing Moments for Material
  • Week 3: From Truth to Art: Facts & Recreation in Creative Nonfiction
  • Week 4: Structure
  • Week 5: Language
  • Week 6: Setting, Voice & Point of View
  • Week 7: Your Writing in the World
  • Week 8: The Business of Writing: Publishing, Writing Practice & Everything Else

8 Weeks  /   Regular Registration: $320

Social Service Rate: $275 for Artists, Students & Educators

Payment plans are also available!

REGISTER HERE or CALL (718) 398-2883.

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Melissa Petro

Melissa Petro has published nonfiction in New York Magazine and Poets & Writers and on Salon, Daily Beast, Jezebel, xoJane, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is the editor of two anthologies: Pros(e), a collection of writing by individuals with experiences in the sex industries, and Corner Stories: Writings by the Washington Heights CORNER Project Community. Melissa holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the New School and currently leads NYWC workshops at Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS).