Writing a Publishable Memoir: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary Video Download

Writing a Publishable Memoir: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary Video Download

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  • You are a writer who has been told, "you should write a book about this!"
  • You are a writer who has voluminous notes and scenes but no cohesive book structure
  • You are a writer who isn't sure if you are writing a memoir or novel, book or screenplay, and want to make the right decisions about genre and format
  • You are a writer who is blocked by fear, although you want to tell your story
  • You are a writer wondering about liability issues and exposure about telling the truth


Many people think their life, or a specific experience in their life, would make a great book. The challenge is that even people with the most fascinating lives usually can't write down their experiences in a way that makes a great book. And yet, some of the most brilliant, riveting novels are about ordinary people in ordinary situations. So how do you translate your real life experiences-common or uncommon-into a brilliant story?

In this presentation, Ivory Madison helps you develop your own roadmap to write, edit, and market your memoir. There is a formula for all great stories, and Madison shares with you what every successful novelist knows about a successful story arc and how you can apply it to your memoir while staying true to your life story. She also shares her foolproof editing method, now used by many writing coaches at Stanford Business School. You'll discover how to determine if the marketplace will respond favorably to a memoir like yours, and what to learn from the best-selling memoirs of all time.

Common questions and concerns about your memoir are answered. Madison helps you navigate issues like what to do when your mother wants to read it, and whether people can sue you over your portrayal of them.

No matter what stage your memoir is at, this presentation not only provides you with the tools to transform your idea into a successful book, it also offers the encouragement you need to follow through. This includes insights from the latest brain research explaining why writing about your past is a crucial tool for moving forward with your life in a positive way.


  • How to build trust with readers by being completely honest
  • How to find your authentic voice and let it shine through
  • Tools to analyze your story so you know what's essential and what's superfluous
  • How to write real-life scenes to be as riveting as your favorite fiction
  • Why writing, editing, and marketing area separate activities and how to use this approach to get better results in all three stages of your project, plus a unique approach to necessary research
  • What type of memoir you're writing from a publisher's perspective and if they will want to publish it, plus pitfalls to avoid if you plan to self-publish
  • How to handle your inner critic, fear of embarrassment, and fear of not being believed


Ivory Madison is the CEO and Editor in Chief of Red Room (redroom.com), a social media and book sales platform for thousands of successful, traditionally published and indie authors, including Amy Tan, Salman Rushdie, James Patterson, and Terry McMillan. Ivory founded the Red Room Writers Society, a writing program in San Francisco, where she was named "Best Writing Coach" by San Francisco Magazine. She is noted as an expert on writing, editing, the future of publishing, social media and entrepreneurship for authors. Madison has delivered keynote addresses at writers conferences including USC and Stanford University, and recently launched Red Room Press. Madison is also an author and has been published by Oxford University Press, Harvard Business Review, and DC Comics.

NOTE: Writer's Digest does not offer refunds for OnDemand Webinars. All sales are final. OnDemand Webinars do NOT include a critique.

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