A little time ago I profiled a couple of writing memoir challenges or communities kicking off. You can read about and find the links in Writing About You! Memoir or Book of Me Journaling.
Now let me introduce you to another kicking off in October as a blogfest. And a possible publishing trend you could push into, if the results of all these challenges look good.
I personally have enjoyed participating in Julie Goucher’s Book of Me, Written by You which kicked off a couple of weeks ago. Julie releases a new prompt every Saturday on her Angler’s Rest blog. There is an active Facebook page supporting the challenge, which Julie is talking about making private.
I’ve chosen to answer the prompts privately anyway, I happen to use some very simple journaling apps that sync my entries into a “Journal” Evernote notebook. I could, if I choose, publish that notebook to the public, or share to certain people – like my family. But in the meantime, it’s private.
What’s interesting about many participating in the challenge is that they are publishing their responses publically, and sharing the links to the Facebook group.
There is a demand for public memoir journaling and sharing. This new challenge below may well answer that.
October Memoir and Back Story Blogging Challenge
Jane Ann McLachlan has just announced the second annual October Memoir and Back Story Blogging Challenge. The challenge has an overall memory theme this year with different themes each week – for 5 weeks – and requires three posts per week. More details on Jane’s post here, where you can also sign up by contacting her.
This challenge is made more interesting with the accompaniment of the term “back story” – Jane acknowledges that fiction writers include a lot of their own back story – memoir – in our stories. And whilst the challenge is more about dwelling back toour own back stories, I imagine the prompts each week could be used to do the same for a fictional character we are currently creating.
Jane’s October blogfest begins October 1st. You can respond however you like (suggestions include photos, poems…) and read other participant’s answers on their own blogs or sites. For in depth memoiring (yes, made that up) why not combine a couple of these challenges?
Mini Memoirs, the Trend
Coincidentally only a couple of days ago, in my twitter stream (I only attend to Twitter for 5 minutes while waiting for school pickups, so many tweets go pass me without being noticed) I picked up on @PeterMallet’s tweet saying he’d been featured with a mini memoir.
Mini memoir? I went and read Peter’s mm, which you can find here. The HeSo Project has Mini Memoir Mondays.
But apparently it’s a trend now in publishing according to The Guardian in a July post: The mini-memoir: a new and welcome ebook trend.
It’s nice to see an acknowledgement of memoir and sub-forms nowadays. We now have some new categories for books as a result – not long ago, nobody had heard of creative non-fiction, for instance.
So, there you go – publish that snippet memoir.
But when I think back, of course mini memoirs aren’t new. Smith Magazine’s Six Word Memoir has been running for years.