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Beth Nguyen

Finding Clarity and Direction in Your Memoir


(This workshop is closed)

Whether you’re just starting to write a memoir or you’re already on your way, whether you’re writing memoir-essays, personal essays, lyric essays, or anything in between, this workshop will help you navigate the process. Structure is often a major challenge in writing, and we will talk about that in depth, aiming to find a sense of overall clarity and direction in a supportive environment geared toward discussion, openness, and inspiration.

Participants are encouraged to submit a first chapter (or beginning pages) of a longer work or a stand-alone piece, as well as an outline or synopsis if needed. This workshop will not ask anyone to stay silent while the rest of the group discusses their work; rather, we will welcome every writer’s questions and ideas, so that all are included and involved.


  • This is a mixed level workshop.
  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your writing background and prior workshop experience, if any.
  • The cost is $600. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $200 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and application.


Beth (Bich Minh) Nguyen is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, the novels Short Girls and Pioneer Girl, and the forthcoming memoir Owner of a Lonely Heart. She has received an American Book Award and a PEN/Jerard Fund Award, and her work has appeared in the New YorkerParis ReviewNew York Times, and numerous anthologies, including Best American Essays. Nguyen teaches in the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.