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How-To Tuesday: Fact-Checking Family Stories: Using Research Tools in Memoir (Brandon Arvesen)

March 5 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EST



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Select quantity using + sign and add to cart. Ticket includes live event and access to recording for 30 days. You will receive an email with the Zoom link the day before the event, with a reminder the day of. Registration will close 3 hours prior to start of event. Thank you for supporting our magazine and events!
$ 20.00
It is no surprise to nonfiction writers that piecing together a memoir is a messy process. The word alone is problematic, stemming from the French word “mémoire” meaning “memory” or “reminiscence.” At its core memoir is just that—a recollection of past events.
Writing memoir demands that writers descend into memory and to engage readers with accurate and meaningful details. Writers and their subjects remember stories, but are they accurate? Memory is flexible, unreliable, and vulnerable to hyperbole. How can any memoirist honestly engage in the process of telling true stories?

This talk emphasizes the essential use of reporting and research in narrative writing. Attendees will follow author, editor, and professor Brandon Arvesen as he traces a family myth about his own adoption from a reminiscence to reportable fact for a current in-process essay. This session will explore:

  • How meticulous and diligent research can lead to stronger narrative construction.
  • Effective research practices for memoir writers with works in progress.
  • A variety of online and in-person tools for tracking down sources, fact checking, recreating scenes, and more.
  • A string of questions and answers that helped Brandon take a story from apocryphal to factual.

We hope you will join us for this event. Remember: If you can’t make it live, you can still register and watch the recording later.

About the series: How-To Tuesdays are monthly talks on the craft of creative nonfiction, publishing, marketing and the writing life led by Hippocampus Magazine editors & contributors. Your registration helps fund our contributor payments and other costs associated with running our journal.

Meet the Speaker

Brandon ArvesenBrandon Arvesen received an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College, an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA in English with a concentration in secondary education from Goucher College. Prior to teaching at Colby-Sawyer, Brandon taught at Goucher College, in the Goucher College Prison Education Partnership and in the Baltimore City Public School System. He is the founding editor of 3cents Magazine and a contributing editor to True Magazine.


March 5
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EST
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