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Event :: Crip Memoir Group Coaching with Alyssa Graybeal

Alyssa Graybeal headshot

Writer and cartoonist Alyssa Graybeal is inviting participants to join her Group Coaching for Crip Memoirists. Identifying as “queer crip editor/book coach and award-winning memoirist,” Graybeal’s mission is to “ignite budding crip memoirists to start writing their books with confidence” in an effort to “untangle ableism” and empower marginalized communities of all kinds. If you are a writer who identifies as disabled, chronically ill, or neurodiverse, and you’re “ready to take down ableism through storytelling,” Graybeal promises a “superchill, supportive environment” to help get you started – or perhaps continue – to develop your story to share with others. The 60-minute weekly group sessions start on Monday, July 11, 2022. Find more details at her website here. Graybeal’s manuscript, Floppy: Tales of a Genetic Freak of Nature at the End of the World won the 2020 Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award and is forthcoming Spring 2023.

Sponsor Spotlight :: Desert Nights, Rising Stars will be Virtual in 2021

Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference 2021While we would usually start things off with the beautiful desert weather and the southwestern landscape, things are a little different this year. With rising COVID cases in Arizona, restrictions surrounding travel around the nation, and ongoing orders against large public gatherings, we’ve made the choice to move Desert Nights, Rising Stars 2021 to a completely virtual experience.

The 2021 conference will be conducted online via Zoom from February 18 through 20. Program features will include writing workshops, panel discussions, readings, pitch sessions, book fair, author signings, and roundtable discussions. Genres covered this year include fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, publishing, business of writing, memoir, and young adult.

The faculty for the conference will be Matt Bell, Mahogany L. Browne, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Alan Dean Foster, Tod Goldberg, Raquel Gutiérrez, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Linda Hogan, Beverly Jenkins, C.B. Lee, Connie J. Mableson, Christopher Morgan, Cynthia Pelayo, Evan Winter, and Erika T. Wurth.

Early registration is only $225 before December 31. Swing by their listing at NewPages to get more details.

Memoir Magazine Extends Inaugural Book Prize Deadline

Memoir Prize for BooksOnline literary magazine Memoir Magazine has extended the deadline for its first-ever book contest to April 30. The Memoir Prize is dedicated to memoirs and creative nonfiction of book-length works of exceptional merit. They have three categories: published, self-published, and unpublished. The grand prize winner receives $2,000. The fee to enter is $95. Results to be announced in June.

“How does one not write a depressing book about depression?”

Book cover of The Scar by Mary CreganCaoilinn Hughes talks with Mary Cregan about her new book The Scar. …But this book is far more than a memoir: it is the result of decades of research on the medical history of the diagnosis, as well as the classification and treatment of depression and melancholia. To this rigorous and fascinating scholarship, Cregan has added the work of a variety of artists—from the ancient Greeks to Leonard Cohen. No surprise, then, that she teaches literature at Barnard College.

For a long time I couldn’t figure out how to write the book because the subject is seen by most people as “depressing.” How does one not write a depressing book about depression? Add to that the trigger of the death of an infant, and it seemed a daunting thing to invite readers to enter into. Death, grief, suicide, illness: these are subjects that a lot of people prefer to avoid thinking about.