5 Best Memoir Writing Courses Online to Bring Your Memories to Life

Writing a memoir is no simple task. After all, it’s your life. Here are the best memoir writing courses to help you infuse your work with structure and style. 

5 Best Memoir Writing Courses Online to Bring Your Memories to Life

"I've given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can't divorce a book."

- Gloria Swanson

So you’ve decided to write a memoir…

Congratulations! But what next? 

How do you put the puzzle pieces together and do justice to the emotional memories and unexpected series of events that have become your life? 

Here are the best memoir writing courses online to guide you as you embark on this exciting new project.

Created by expert memoirists, these courses will gently guide you in those moments of literary darkness when you struggle to find the right words to express yourself and your past experiences. 

With step-by-step templates and detailed examples, you’ll find that these memoir writing classes provide the perfect mix of structure and flexibility, so you can create clarity and flow while preserving your unique writing voice. 

Note: If you're looking for one-on-one help, here are some creative writing coaches you can work with.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

What are the Best Memoir Writing Courses?

Here are the best memoir writing courses to enroll in online this year: 

1. Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself Specialization

Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself Specialization

How do you write about yourself so that others will want to read it? 

That's the topic of this four-part specialization course on Coursera.

Watch and learn as instructors from the Shapiro Center for Writing share tips, prompts, exercises, readings and challenges to help every writer imagine, construct and write compelling pieces of non-fiction's most popular form: the personal narrative.

Program Syllabus: 

  • Course 1: Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader
  • Course 2: Writing in First Person Point of View
  • Course 3: Writing a Personal Essay
  • Course 4: Writing Stories About Ourselves

Through 16 writing assignments across the four courses, and from reading the work of others, you will learn to put pen to paper (or keys to screen) and write the story of your life.

Best of all, you can transform your final portfolio into components of your memoir or essay.

Key course features: 

Shareable Certificate

  • Earn a Certificate upon completion.

Flexible Schedule

  • Learn online at your own pace.

Beginner Level

  • No prior experience required.

Approximately 1 month to complete

  • Suggested pace of 10 hours/week.

=> Enroll in the Memoir and Personal Essay Specialization here.

2. Memoir Writing: Write a Personal Story for a Universal Audience

There’s no right way to tell a story but author and book coach Courtney Maum believes there is a right way to structure one. 

In this Memoir Writing Class, she teaches aspiring authors how to create a compelling personal story using a three-act structure and a double timeline. 

You'll begin by getting to know Courtney, the influences that have inspired her work over the years, and her experience with some of the biggest publishing houses in America, including Penguin Random House and The New York Times. 

Then you'll learn what a memoir is, why they’re so popular, and the different forms a personal narrative can take. 

As she walks you through building your own memoir, Courtney shares her advice for developing your narrative voice and knowing what to include and leave out of your personal story. 

She also shows you how to keep yourself accountable during the writing process and how to generate a buzz around your story, even if you usually shy away from self-promotion. 

Course Syllabus: 

  • Introduction 
  • Memoir and Nonfiction Writing
  • Finding Your Story's Structure
  • Tips and Tricks to Keep Writing
  • Final Project 

Key course features: 

  • 12 Lessons (1h 11m)
  • 11 Additional resources (3 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available from the app
  • Audio: English
  • Captions: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate upon completion 

=> Enroll in Courtney's Memoir Writing course on Domestika here

3. Malcolm Gladwell Teaches Writing 

Author, journalist, and podcaster Malcolm Gladwell has written five nonfiction New York Times bestsellers, so he certainly knows a thing or two about writing creative nonfiction. 

"What is creative nonfiction?" you ask...

Well, according to Gladwell, creative nonfiction is the art of using various literary techniques to tell true stories. It requires special attention to perspective and accuracy.

These are elements that play a major role when you write a memoir. 

In this MasterClass, Gladwell shows you how to tap into your own experiences and create dynamic, riveting pieces that explore your personal history.

The class is 4 hours 54 minutes long, and it includes 24 video lessons. 

Throughout the class, Malcolm shares everything he knows about researching topics, crafting interesting characters, and distilling big ideas into simple, powerful narratives - so it's the perfect class for anyone who wants to sharpen their writing skills in general. 

In addition, when you sign up for Masterclass, you automatically gain unlimited access to 100+ classes taught by other top instructors (including other writers).

From my experience, it's totally worth it!

4. Writing Your Life Story: Turning Memories into Memoir 

Writing Your Life Story: Turning Memories into Memoir

Do you have a story about your life that you are yearning to write?

Your memoir could be your story, you could write it because you need to heal, or you can turn it into a self-help book, where you provide advice to others.

Whichever you choose, this popular Udemy course will guide you on the path to planning, writing, editing and getting your memoir self-published.

You will learn:

  • How to plan and write a memoir
  • How to edit to engage your readers
  • How to first draft to published author
  • The technicalities of writing and publishing a book
  • Tools that will make your writing and planning process easier

This course is for: 

  • People who have stories they really want to share
  • Anyone who wants to share their story to help others
  • Anyone who wants to write a memoir and doesn't know where to start
  • Anyone who needs to heal through writing

Key course features: 

  • 10.5 hours on-demand video
  • 42 downloadable resources
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Full lifetime access
  • Certificate of completion

=> Enroll in Writing Your Life Story: Turning Memories into Memoir.

5. Writing The Truth: How to Start Writing Your Memoir


“We're all in this together trying to make sense of what it is to be a human being. And it's a hard and kind of beautiful and noble thing for you to try to do." 

- Mary Karr

In this engaging Skillshare class, legendary memoirist Mary Karr (The Liar's Club, Cherry) describes the processes she relies on to write beautiful, visceral scenes that draw readers in.

Through a series of memory-focused writing exercises, Mary guides you through the tangled process of writing memoir and makes it clear, distinct, and actionable.

In just 55 minutes, you'll dive deep into Mary's approach to writing, including an exclusive look at the notebooks she's currently using to plan her next memoir, the commonplace book she uses to keep track of writing she loves, and bookshelves stacked with her favorite memoirs from years of avid reading.

Class Syllabus: 

  1. Introduction
  2. Jumpstarting Your Memory
  3. Creating a Commonplace Book
  4. Developing Your Voice
  5. Writing With Carnality
  6. Writing Interiority 
  7. Truth of Memory
  8. Final Thoughts

Whether you're a writer looking to tell the story of your life, a journaler searching for intriguing prompts, or a creative mind looking to learn from another creative mind, this class will unlock your ability to look inside yourself, analyze what you find, and share it with the world.

=> Sign up and enroll for free in the "Writing the Truth" class here

Final Thoughts

Thanks for checking out this post on the best memoir writing courses online. Hopefully you've found a few options that will provide you with guidance and support for the task ahead. 

Since quotes seem to have been the running theme of this blog post, I'll leave you with one last quote by Stephen King: 

“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”

Although the thought of writing a memoir might seem daunting, once you equip yourself with the right tools and education, you're already one step ahead. 

Keep moving forward to the best of your ability, and in the end you'll be left with a breathtaking masterpiece!

All the best, 

Roli Edema

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