Advanced Memoir ~ Consultation & Critique 


   July 26 - July 30, 2020

We dream in narrative, daydream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, construct, gossip, learn, hate and love by narrative. In order really to live, we make up stories about ourselves and others, about the personal as well as the social past and future.  – Barbara Hardy 

British theologian, philosopher and Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sachs said, “The great questions – “Who are we?” “Why are we here?” “What is our task?” – are best answered by telling a story. 

Advanced Memoir ~ Consultation & Critique 

invites you to complete your story! 

Work with remarkable instructors and participants during this extraordinary five-day workshop...where inspiration meets excellence, joy, creativity and intellect. 

Do we have your attention? 

Writing for family or for publication? This workshop is for anyone determined to complete a memoir in progress. Whether you arrive with several chapters or a nearly completed draft, this workshop will give you the guidance, feedback and tools to complete your project once our class  ends. 

Sunday, July 26 

Sunday Evening: Welcome, Intro & Opening Session 

Monday, July 27 - Thursday, July 30

  • Each morning, meet online "face to face" and "one-on-one" with an instructor for 30-minute manuscript consultation and critique, and guidance to resolve your most pressing questions. 
  • Lunch Break - On Your Own!
  • Each afternoon, meet online in workshop for advanced craft lessons, group feedback, & guided writing to advance your memoir

Thursday Evening, July 30

Opportunity to Read at Open Mic - Live and Online!

Advanced craft lessons will help you to

  • Capture your memoir’s bigger story, the universal in the personal
  • Tell your story with insight and authenticity
  • Enliven your scenes
  • Sharpen the narrative arc; flow and progression to keep readers engaged 
  • Remember that audience matters! Considerations & options
  • Consider best overall format for your story

Register now for this unique writing workshop with Linda M. Bendorf, Director of Blue Sage Writing, and E.M. (Elizabeth) Sloan, author of When Songbirds Returned to Paris.

This advanced workshop is for those with a keen interest in memoir writing. Whether you've completed several chapters or a full draft of your story, this workshop will take your writing and your project to the next level. It will also give you the tools and support to complete your project once the workshop ends. 

To provide exceptional instruction and guidance, this workshop is LIMITED  to twelve writers. Register now to reserve your place in this collaborative group!

Wondering if this is the right level workshop for you? Send a note and we’ll sort it out! 

About Your Instructors

Linda M. Bendorf (M.A.T., J.D., University of Iowa) is Director of Blue Sage Writing and an award-winning instructor and private writing coach who inspires novices and seasoned pros alike. She has been an instructor in the renowned University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival for more than two decades. Last summer in Boulder, CO., Linda co-led the workshop, Your Legacy as Memoir: The Essence of a Life. She recently completed substantive editing of a non-fiction book for an Illinois writer.

Her essays, features, and poetry have appeared in the Sun Magazine, Chicago Tribune Media Group’s TribLocal, The University of Iowa’s The Daily Palette, USA Today, Gannett News Service Wire, Des Moines Register, Instructor, The Iowan, and Gather magazine. Her essay Quest for the Rufous-Capped Warbler will appear in a forthcoming issue of Bird Watcher’s Digest Magazine.

Linda lived on the North Sea in England during her early years, then grew up in Evanston, Illinois. She and her husband, Carl, moved to Colorado’s Front Range in 2015.

E.M. (Elizabeth) Sloan, Associate Director of Blue Sage Writing, teaches The Creative Mind at the University of Idaho, poetry at Lewis-Clark State College, and leads workshops in research through attention to detail from photographs and documents. Last summer in Boulder, Co., Elizabeth co-led the workshop, Your Legacy as Memoir: The Essence of a Life. She recently coached a writer through completion of his eco-adventure novel.

Elizabeth has created a number of e-books, designed from her original one-of-a-kind print editions, combining short story elements with images. Elizabeth lives in Moscow, Idaho where she received her MFA in creative nonfiction (2008). Her memoir,When Songbirds Returned to Paris, was nominated for the American Library in Paris Book Award, as well as Award-Winning Finalist in the "Narrative Nonfiction" category of the 2016 International Book Awards.

Sloan's family memoir began from a 100-year old photograph, identified by misleading names and dates. What followed involved a four-year MFA thesis, 12 years of research, international travel, correspondence, translations, serendipitous friendships, and two publishing houses.

"With an innovative narrative structure and lively cast of characters, Elizabeth Sloan’s When Songbirds Returned to Paris weaves a powerful family history set against the backdrop of world war.  Sloan’s impressive research reminds us that with enough digging, remarkable, true stories can rise from the dead."—Buddy Levy, author of Geronimo, Conquistador, and River of Darkness.

Scenes from past workshops

Nationwide, meetings and education have moved quickly to online formats.  We're doing the same!


  • During this pandemic, it's a highly effective way to connect with others who can help you to meet your writing goals!
  • The proven technology we will use throughout this workshop will allow us to meet and share "face to face,"so we can hear and see one another.
  • We will be able to share documents and other visuals with you.
  • We will schedule two brief advanced practice sessions with the group to make sure everything is working at your end!

Your registration fee of $1,075. includes:

  • Five days of extraordinary instruction and inspiration
  • Experienced & passionate instructors who will guide you to creative breakthroughs and your best writing
  • Individual daily conferences and coaching on your manuscript & most pressing questions
  • Optional pre-workshop assignments
  • Thursday Evening Closing Ceremony and opportunity to read aloud at open mic!


If you have any questions about this unique workshop, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sample Comments From Past Participants

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"Our workshop, Legacy as Memoir, exceeded my expectations! Incorporating visual exercises helped re-energize my creativity. Appreciated having the time to reflect and write!"

Past Workshop Participant

“I learned more than I ever imagined I could in this short time! The venue offered private work time and space for solitude and real reflection...and also time together.”

L.A., Loveland CO

“Our dinner events over good food and wine offered wonderful nights of sharing and getting to know one another. I look forward to next summer’s memoir workshop with Blue Sage Writing!”

F.T., Texas Hill Country

“Legacy as Memoir exceeded my dreams! I often deal with inner writing demons who look for an “escape hatch” to keep me from writing. NOT AT ALL THIS TIME with Linda & Lizzie! Thank you for your commitment to us and our process!”

C.F., Louisville, CO

“The bed and breakfast venue gave us the opportunity to share more with one another outside of workshop time. Also loved how the events and field trip offered time for reflection and connection -- with each other and nature. It was also helpful to learn techniques for using my photos to inspire memory and written word. So very happy I invested in myself and my writing!”

Past Workshop Participant

“Now I think about metaphor of water as one overarching theme for the variegated stories that are my life. I am “seeing” its capacity to make sense of my journey. A journey from dark to light, from cold to warm, from fear to gratitude and a whole lot of other ‘froms.’ Now it’s my turn on stage to express myself in so many ways. And I’m loving it.”

John B., Shelburne Falls, MA

“The Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast was exceptional! Their unsurpassed level of service contributed to a great experience. What happy, joyous outings! The dinners were beautifully prepared and the trip to Nederland magical! The exercises enhanced my writing!”

Linda Y., Pasadena, CA
LIVE ONLINE Advanced Memoir Workshop July 26-30, 2020LEARN MORE HERE!