Memoir Writing: Reflections of our Lives Past and Present

Course Leader(s)
Day of Week: Wednesday
Course Length: 10 weeks
Starting: 09/11/2024
Ending: 12/04/2024
Period of Day: Period 1 Zoom
Time: 9:30 - 11:00
Course Fee: $100

Course Description:

Each week we share writings about our lives.  We look at how the past and major current events shape us. We also do a short spontaneous write based on an in-class prompt.  We let our “Magic Pens” take over.  We also share these brief writes.  Each participant’s writings help to create a community narrative.  The participants support each other, which encourages growth in each person’s writing.

Participants may have many reasons for writing their memoirs.  We may gain insight into ourselves.  We may want to pass on our history and life lessons learned to family and friends.  We may also be recording a personal living history of turbulent times.

We allow a 15-minute chat period starting at 9:15, CLASS BEGINS AT 9:30. Each person reads what they’ve written in the preceding week; this allows for five minutes of reading followed by a-5 minutes of comments and suggestions. Since we are writing from our lives, confidentiality is observed, and commentary is positive, respectful. and supportive. We focus on content rather than the mechanics of writing such as grammar.  When everyone has read their piece, we move to writing in response to a prompt followed by reading what we have come to call the “Magic Pen.”

Weekly preparation time varies greatly and is determined by how much time will be needed to read aloud what has been written in the preceding week. We have had several long pieces that exceeded the time constraint, and these have been presented in parts to accommodate for that.  A typical range is 1-3 hours.

Books and Other Resources:


Course Leader Bio(s)

Myrna Rybczyk

I am a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music with a major in Music Therapy, I worked for over 4 years as a Visiting Therapist at the McClean Hospital, during that time I was Assistant Director of Orchard Home for Girls (a branch of N.E. Home for Little Wanderers.)  Following that, I taught choral and band music at Monadnock Regional HS, NH. and then became Head Music Therapist at Medfield State Hospital for 4 years. I have taught piano and voice lessons for over fifty years in my studio. I began Memoir writing with Carol McNamee in 2017 and subsequently became Course Leader in 2018.


I am currently engaged in the early stages of finding a publisher for a memoir I have written regarding Boston Police Corruption in the early 1960s.