The Art of Memoir
with Sophfronia Scott
The decision to write a memoir—especially one with spiriutal themes—can be both exhilarating and paralyzing. You know your story has value but all you can see are the obstacles ahead. “What will my family think?” “What if I’m afraid to write about my worst moments?” “How do I even begin?”
You start here, with this workshop. Author and instructor Sophfronia Scott will gently guide students through a process to help you first grasp the story you want to tell and then shape it into a page-turner readers will want to read. Particpants will learn how to develop scenes, use metaphor, communicate voice and put fully formed personality and character into your work. They’ll also learn how to be a reporter and researcher of their own lives to help either round out the facts or find vital missing pieces.
What Others are Saying
“All I Need to Get By is nothing short of extraordinary. … [this] story about a family falling apart is billowy, intense, and elegant. What an incredible way for Sophfronia Scott to deliver her introductory calling card, as one of the most promising new author of the year.”
— African American Literature Book Club
“Sophfronia Scott’s beautiful collection of essays is wise and ruminative, a pleasure to read. Whether she’s writing of the deeply personal or the culture at large, she makes us care and gives us a good long look at what this loud and calamitous world would have us ignore: hope.”
— Bret Lott, author of Jewel and nonfiction editor for Crazyhorse
“Sophfronia Scott has written a book of truth and grace. Clear-sighted in every way, Love’s Long Line has much to teach us about family, about the challenges the world gives us, about the journeys we make toward forgiveness. This is a book for the mind and the soul.”
— Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever and Telling Stories
“Sophfronia Scott’s collection of essays Love’s Long Line reminds us that a life lived with hope is a life full of possibility. . . . Scott knows how to find grace even in its absence.”
Sophfronia Scott grew up in Lorain, Ohio, a hometown she shares with author Toni Morrison. She began her career as an award-winning magazine journalist for Time, where she co-authored the groundbreaking cover story “Twentysomething,” the first study identifying the demographic group known as Generation X. When her first novel, All I Need to Get By, was published, Sophfronia was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards. Her latest novel is Unforgivable Love.
Sophfronia is also the author of an essay collection, Love’s Long Line, and a memoir, This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-written with her son Tain. Her essays, short stories, and articles have appeared in publications including the New York Times, More, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her essay “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse” is listed among the Notables in Best American Essays 2017.
Sophfronia teaches at Regis University’s Mile High MFA and Bay Path University’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Empowerment is the cornerstone of Sophfronia’s teaching philosophy. She encourages her students to cultivate a writing life and to use their regular practice to both develop their art and articulate how they want to “show up” in the literary world. She lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
+ Read: Why I Didn't Go to the Firehouse, an essay about the day of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary where her son was a student
+ Read: An interview about her collection of essays Love's Long Line
+ Watch: On being inspired by Madeleine L'Engle's Persistence
+ Read: Wide-Open Country and Romantic Dreams: An Interview with Sophfronia Scott
+ Read: Sophfronia's website
Photo credit: Rob Berkley